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California Republican, chairman of Rules committee, to retire

Chairman of the Rules Committee Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) announced on the House floor this morning that he is retiring.

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Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Rules announced he will not run for reelection February 29, 2012.

This is another blow to Republicans, who just lost Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) yesterday to retirement. But the move wasn't unexpected. Unlike Snowe's retirment, Dreier's was one of the worst-kept secrets on the Hill. 

Dreier joins a handful of other Republicans from California who are retiring as a result of redistricting. Dreier's district went away as a result of redistricting.

While a handful of members, who are in similar situations, are running in neighboring districts, Dreier had few other options.

In his floor speech, he said he made the decision, because Americans are asking for change in Congress.

"We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating," Dreier said, "and the American people are asking for change in Congress. And so, I'm announcing today that I will leave the congress at the end of this year."

Dreier was first elected to Congress in 1980.  Now in his 16th term, he was considered a top choice in 2005 to take the Majority Leader position, which was instead given to Roy Blunt reportedly because of Dreier's more moderate views. Dreier has been chairman of the House Rules Committee -- which regulates House floor proceedings, debates and votes -- since 1999.