Patrick Leahy, longest serving US senator still in office, won’t seek reelection

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“Whereas I’ll proceed to serve Vermont, Marcelle and I’ve reached a conclusion: it’s time to put down the gavel,” mentioned Leahy, referring to his spouse. “It’s time to move the torch to the subsequent Vermonter, who’ll keep it up this work for our nice state. It is time to come residence.”

“I cannot run for reelection,” he added.

Leahy made his announcement on the Vermont State Home, the place he introduced his first Senate marketing campaign in 1974.

Leahy, 81, is the fourth longest serving senator in US historical past. As Senate president professional tempore, he’s at the moment third within the line of presidential succession, following the vice chairman and speaker of the Home.

Leahy was the primary and stays the one Democrat to signify his residence state within the US Senate, although his fellow US senator for the state is Bernie Sanders, an impartial who caucuses with the Democrats.

Congress returns Monday with government funding, debt ceiling, economic bill looming

Democrats have an especially slender margin for management of the Senate, and Republicans want to realize just one seat in subsequent 12 months’s midterms to regain management of the chamber. Republicans have in recent times received statewide workplace, together with the state’s present governor, Phil Scott. Nevertheless, Joe Biden received virtually two-thirds of the vote there in 2020.

Scott’s press secretary Jason Maulucci advised CNN, “Governor Scott has been clear that he’s not working for the U.S. Senate subsequent 12 months. That has not modified.”

Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, Vermont’s at-large member of the Home, issued an announcement on the retirement, writing, “Nobody has served Vermont so faithfully, so continually, so truthfully, and so fiercely as Patrick.”

Leahy is the sixth senator and first Democrat to announce they will not be looking for one other time period. Total, Republicans will probably be defending 20 Senate seats and Democrats will probably be defending 14 in 2022.

In his speech on Monday, Leahy touted the deeds of his lengthy profession, establishing nationwide requirements for meals labeled “natural,” efforts to ban the export of land mines, confirming liberal judges, and sending billions to his small residence state, together with to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

He additionally spoke about his work to supply wholesome faculty lunches and create vitamin applications for infants and youngsters, in addition to guaranteeing the conservation of 1000’s of acres of farm and forest land in his state and throughout the US.

They're 80+. They're in charge. They're not going away.

Considered one of Leahy’s most historic roles got here earlier this 12 months as he presided over former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in lieu of Chief Justice John Roberts, who selected to not oversee the proceedings as a result of Trump was now not in workplace.

Born in Montpelier, Vermont, on March 31, 1940, Leahy graduated from Saint Michael’s School in 1961 and Georgetown College Legislation Middle in 1964. He was elected to the Senate simply 10 years after that, making him the youngest US senator ever elected from Vermont. 

Previous to his time in Congress, he served as a state’s legal professional in Vermont from 1966-1974.

This 12 months Leahy additionally turned chairman of the distinguished Appropriations Committee. He is beforehand chaired the Judiciary Committee and oversaw the confirmations of justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Leahy additionally led the Agriculture Committee within the late 80s and early 90s.

This story has been up to date with extra developments Monday.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc and Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.

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