Yeesh: GOP House Appropriations chair to retire

He apparently decided, though, after 12 relatively easy elections (his lowest winning percentage was 58 percent) that he did not want to face the toughest campaign of his life at the age of 71. "In my remaining year as chairman, I am determined to finish the FY18 bills and pass our FY19 bills through regular order".

But Democrats had Frelinghuysen in their crosshairs this year, as they try to seize on President Trump's unpopularity in New Jersey and make gains in the Republican-controlled House. "From serving in Vietnam, to the New Jersey legislature, to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Frelinghuysen dedicated himself to protecting this country". The GOP has six-year term limits on chairmanships in the House, and several of Texas's current chairswill have to step down at the end of the current term.

Instead, Frelinghuysen hid from us, refused all invitations, and actively avoided interactions with those in the 11th District - the very people he was supposed to represent in Washington.

First elected to Congress in 1994, Frelinghuysen became chairman of the House Appropriations Committee a year ago, a powerful perch that gives him significant sway over where the federal government spends its money.

"Since Chairman Frelinghuysen announced his retirement, people have been encouraging me to seek the Appropriations Committee gavel", Granger said on Twitter Monday.

Frelinghuysen's 11th District, which covers parts of Essex, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties, will be one of the hardest hit in the country by the new tax law's $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for local property and state income taxes. Every member, Republican and Democrat, will continue to have ample opportunity to directly impact the Congressional power of the purse and decide the best and highest use of limited taxpayer money.

Old-timers such as former Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., say the system centralizes legislative authority with party leaders, who are often less versed in the nuts and bolts of legislation and have little appreciation for the committee's bipartisan traditions.

National Republican Congressional Committee Steve Stivers expressed optimism that the 11th District would stay in GOP hands. This will require - and I will happily devote - all my energies to this task.

The leading Democrat is former Navy helicopter pilot-turned-federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill, who is running with EMILY's List's endorsement. Even before Frelinghuysen announced his retirement, the race was expected to be competitive in the midterms.

Democratic candidate Tamara Harris said Monday's announcement means the challenging party needs to have an open primary.

After getting snubbed by the Trump administration, Amtrak's $13 billion Gateway tunnel is losing one if its chief backers in Congress too.

Frelinghuysen's district had long leaned Republican but was carried only narrowly by Trump in 2016. His father, Peter Frelinghuysen, served in the House for two decades. Four other Frelinghuysens have served as U.S. Senators from New Jersey, dating back to Frederick Frelinghuysen (1793-1796).