House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp won’t seek the open U.S. Senate seat next year in Michigan.
“I will continue to put my full focus and effort on serving my constituents,” Camp said in a statement today. “That includes creating a stronger economy by making the tax code more effective and efficient; opening new markets for American goods and services; and, critical oversight of Obamacare and the IRS.”
Republican rules will require Camp to give up the Ways and Means chairmanship at the end of 2014 unless he receives a waiver to continue. Camp’s office didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Camp, 60, was considering a run for the seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Carl Levin.
First elected to the U.S. House in 1990, Camp has been chairman of the influential tax-writing panel since 2011 and was the top ranking Republican on the committee for the two years before that.
He has been working with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, on a broad overhaul of the U.S. tax code and said he plans to advance legislation through his panel to lower tax rates for individuals and companies.
Camp has been one of the top campaign fundraisers in the House, bringing in $4.48 million in 2011 and 2012, among the top 20 totals for any House candidate during that time, Federal Elections Commission data shows.
Republicans need to win six additional Senate seats next year to control the chamber. Camp is the latest Republican to turn down the chance to do that in Michigan. Fellow Michigan Representative Mike Rogers also has said he won’t run for the seat.
Democratic Representative Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, a Republican, have announced campaigns for the office.
In July 2012, Camp announced that a routine physical exam had detected “a very early, highly treatable and curable type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” He began periodic chemotherapy and was able to generally continue his legislative duties.
In the two months after his diagnosis, Camp wasn’t present for about a third of the roll-call votes, though he didn’t miss work for any extended period. In December 2012, Camp’s office said in a statement that his doctors “have declared him cancer-free.”
In 1996, Camp played a key role in developing an overhaul the welfare system, placing more emphasis on creating incentives and opportunities for welfare recipients to work.
Camp’s support for his economically troubled home state of Michigan in 2008 trumped the party line, as he voted in the Ways and Means Committee for extended unemployment benefits. That same year, when only 32 Republicans supported the federal bailout of the auto industry, Camp and seven other Michigan Republicans backed the bill. He also voted for the financial industry bailout.
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