House Ways and Means ranking member Jim McCrery (R-La.) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008. He was first elected to the House in 1988 and served on the Ways and Means Committee for 14 years. On the healthcare front, he was involved in trying to restructure Medicare, said one of his aides in an interview.
McCrery served on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, in addition to a House-Senate Medicare conference committee in the mid-90s, and has sponsored legislation to help preserve the financially troubled Medicare program. He voted in favor of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. He has also opposed levying a tobacco tax in order to pay for expansions to the State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
His hope of becoming Ways and Means chairman was denied when Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. He cited that disappointment, along with a desire to spend more time with family, as the reason why he wouldnt be seeking an 11th term. The chairmanship would have allowed me to play a leading role in addressing some of the biggest long-term problems facing our country, he said in a written statement.
McCrery said in a written statement that he and Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) developed a very good working relationship, and we have had some success in developing bipartisan solutions, specifically in the area of trade. But on tax reform, Medicare and healthcare reform, and Social Security reform, our best efforts have come to naught. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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