WASHINGTON (CBS Detroit) – Saying it was “an extremely difficult decision” Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced late Thursday afternoon he will not seek re-election in 2014.
Levin, 78, one of the most long-standing and respected figures in Washington who serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, explained his decision this way:
“As Barbara and I struggled with the question of whether I should run again, we focused on our belief that our country is at a crossroads that will determine our economic health and security for decades to come. We decided that I can best serve my state and nation by concentrating in the next two years on the challenging issues before us that I am in a position to help address; in other words, by doing my job without the distraction of campaigning for re-election,” he wrote in an open letter to constituents.
He said he felt his time would be better served by focusing on revealing tax avoidance schemes, and fixing “egregious” tax loopholes.
“Thirty of our most profitable companies paid no taxes over a recent three year period although they had over $150 billion in profits,” he wrote, adding “These schemes add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit. They lead to cuts in education, research, national security, law enforcement, infrastructure, food safety and other important investments in our nation.”
Levin said he also plans to focus on Michigan’s “manufacturing renaissance.”
“We’ve made progress in building the partnerships we need to help U.S. manufacturers succeed, but the next two years will be crucial to sustaining and building on that progress,” he wrote.
Levin added he wants to expose the use of secret campaign money and deal with “fiscal pressures on our military readiness.”
“As our troops come home, we must do a better job of caring for those who bear both the visible and invisible wounds of war,” he wrote, adding, “These issues will have an enormous impact on the people of Michigan and the nation for years to come, and we need to confront them,” Levin wrote. “I can think of no better way to spend the next two years than to devote all of my energy and attention to taking on these challenges.”