John Yarmuth, a powerful Kentucky liberal, announced his resignation from Congress at the end of his term

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By Annie Grayer and Morgan Rimmer, CNN

Democratic MP John Yarmuth announced on Tuesday that after thirteen years in Congress and becoming one of the most powerful liberals in Washington DC, he will not run for re-election.

Yarmuth’s announcement is a blow to the Democrats, who have a slim majority in the chamber and are now faced with a new candidate for his seat in the US House of Representatives.

Yarmuth, the only Democrat to represent Kentucky, also chairs the House Budgets Committee, which helps steer President Joe Biden’s social safety net agenda through hooks that emerged in the negotiations.

“To be honest, I never thought I’d be in Congress for that long. I’ve always said I couldn’t imagine being here for more than 10 years, “said Yarmuth in a video posted on Twitter. “After each election, I was asked how long I would like to serve, and I never had an answer. Today I do. This term will be my last. “

Although Yarmuth said he was in good health, he felt the job would only get tougher as he would be 75 by the end of his tenure and expressed a desire to spend more time with his grandson.

Yarmuth outlined the work ahead of his retirement, citing his role as budget chairman as an integral part of helping Democrats reach a behind-the-scenes consensus to implement their domestic agenda ahead of the midterm elections.

Considering his career, Yarmuth called the adoption of the American rescue plan, which provided historic emergency relief as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, “my proudest moment”.

Yarmuth outlined how difficult it will be for him to leave his job in Congress, but ultimately reiterated that it was the right decision for him.

“I know I will regret this decision on my first day as a private individual, and I will be sad that I have left the most satisfying time of my professional life behind me,” said Yarmuth. “But I also know that every day after that I will find other ways to help my fellow citizens, and I will be more confident that the decision I announced today is the right one.”

This story and headline were updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

The CNN Wire
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