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5th May
written by Sean Noble

What must be the world’s longest (and largest) spending spree is coming to an end.  Politicos everywhere were abuzz this afternoon following Representative David Obey’s (D-WI) surprise announcement of his plans to retire at the end of this Congress. Elected in 1969 (he’s been in Congress longer than I’ve been alive, and it feels really nice to say that), Obey won all but two of his 21 elections with more than 60% of the vote (1969, in his first election, and in 1994, the year of the Republican Revolution and, importantly, when the political environment was very similar to today’s).

While the 71 year-old Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee asserted during his announcement that being “bone tired” was one of the primary motivations in making his decision (Hey, who can blame him? All those taxpayer dollars don’t spend themselves!), it no doubt deals a huge blow to House Democrats as they already face an uphill battle to November.

Will Obey’s move inspire other Dems to follow suit? How ugly will the fight for the Approps gavel get? Today’s events leave many a question mark, but it can safely be said that Republican Sean Duffy, who was already waging a fierce battle against Mr. Obey, is having a pretty great Wednesday.

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