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McCrery to Retire at Conclusion of 110th

Louisiana Rep. Jim McCrery, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, announced late Friday that he will retire at the end of the 110th Congress. McCrery’s decision was based, in part, on the fact that Republicans lost control of the chamber in 2006. The 58-year-old Congressman also wants to spend more time with his family. “His intellect and thoughtful approach to his work on the Ways and Means Committee will be sorely missed by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Jim’s work on tax, trade and health care policy has had an impact that will be felt for years to come.” McCrery becomes the 18th House Republican to announce retirement or a run for another office next year. Many of those seats are competitive for Republicans. But GOP leaders immediately expressed confidence that they would have no trouble holding McCrery’s district. “Louisiana’s Fourth district is a solid Republican seat and one that Governor-elect [and current Rep. Bobby] Jindal carried in his recent campaign for Governor,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) said in a statement. “The NRCC will be meeting with candidates over the next several weeks and we are confident the voters will again send a Republican representative to Congress in 2008.” — Lauren W. Whittington