By DONNA CASSATA
WASHINGTON (AP) – Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and an advocate for overhauling the federal tax code, announced Monday that he will retire after 24 years in Congress.
“Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life,” Camp, 60, said in a statement. “I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me. Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration.”
Camp battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, underwent chemotherapy and said he was cancer-free in December 2012.
Camp was term-limited as chairman of the tax-writing committee, and his decision was somewhat expected. He is the second senior Michigan Republican to announce his retirement in the past week. Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced on Friday that he would retire.
Last month, Camp unveiled a far-reaching plan to overhaul the nation’s tax laws that would wipe out a slew of popular tax breaks to help pay for lower overall tax rates. It would repeal deductions for state and local taxes, medical expenses and moving expenses. Tax credits for child care, adoption services and energy-efficient upgrades to homes would be gone as well.
“We need to be the party of growth, opportunity, restoring the American dream. And I think this is something Americans have hungered for,” said Camp, the plan’s author.
The proposal got a chilly reception from Democrats and Republicans.
“Any proposal that eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes, as the Republican plan would do, is dead on arrival,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, declined to promise a vote in the House this year. When asked about the details, Boehner said: “Blah, blah, blah, blah. Listen, there’s a conversation that needs to begin. This is the beginning of the conversation.”
Republicans are expected to hold Camp’s GOP-leaning seat in central Michigan.
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