Veteran Republican William Broomfield Retires
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) _ Rep. William Broomfield, one of the two most senior Republicans in the House, announced his retirement Tuesday, ending a 36-year career in Congress out of disgust with its legislative paralysis.
Broomfield, who has represented a suburban Detroit district since Dwight Eisenhower was president, said frustration with Congress and recent scandals led him to announce his decision now.
″I just have got to the point where I have been very, very disgusted with the fact that nothing is getting done down there,″ said Broomfield, who lives in this Detroit suburb.
Broomfield, who will turn 70 in a week, said he was confident of winning another term but added, ″I think people deserve a change.″
Broomfield’s retirement brings to 50 the number of House members who have announced plans to retire, including 33 Democrats and 17 Republicans.
Many had been in political trouble for writing bad checks at the House bank, but Broomfield wrote no bad checks, according to a House Ethics Committee list released last week.
Five other House members, all Democrats, have been defeated in primaries and at least another half-dozen will lose in primaries that pit two incumbents against one another.
House turnover this year is expected to be more than 100, the most for any year since World War II.
Seven senators have announced plans to retire and Sen. Alan Dixon was defeated in Illinois’ Democratic primary.
Broomfield and House Minority Leader Robert Michel, who both have served since 1956, are the two most senior GOP members in the House. Broomfield is ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
But he said the $129,000-a-year job is no longer worth it.
″People are disgusted with members of Congress and I just felt it’s the time to call it quits,″ he said. ″I certainly didn’t want to stay so long that they’d have to carry me out.″