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Price, Doyle Join Exodus from the House, Opt Out of 2022 Races

October 18, 2021 by Dan McCue
Rep. David Price speaks during a press conference at the Community School for People Under Six in Carrboro, N.C. on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. Price, the current dean of North Carolina's congressional delegation, announced Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 he won't seek reelection in 2022. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

WASHINGTON – Reps. David Price, D-N.C., and Mike Doyle, D-Penn., on Monday became the latest members of Congress to announce they won’t be seeking reelection in 2022.

The announcements come less than a week after Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., chairman of the House Budget Committee revealed he too will pass up a re-election bid next year.

All told, 22 members of the House — 13 Democrats and 9 Republicans — have so far announced they’re not running for reelection in 2022.

Price, a one-time professor of political science and author of several books about Congress, was first elected to that body in 1986. He lost a bid for reelection in the Contract with America year of 1994, but was reelected two years later and had been a Capitol Hill fixture ever since.

“In retiring from a job like the one I hold, one should not expect a complete sense of closure,” Price said in his statement. “But as we tell our HDP partners in discussing the realization of democracy, most of what we do remains a work in progress.” 

The HDP is the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan group that works with legislatures in other countries to improve how they function. Price currently serves as its chairman, and he is also chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee.

Price went on to say the work in progress nature of the House “is certainly evident now, as we  strive to secure long overdue investments in our transportation and housing infrastructure, child care and early childhood education, and other pressing needs.”

“Looming over it all is the frightful legacy of the last four years and urgent questions about the future of our constitutional democracy,” he said, adding that while the time has come for him to retire, “this is no time to flag in our efforts to secure a ‘more perfect union’ and to protect and expand our democracy.”

In a statement released Monday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Price “a valued and trusted voice in the House Democratic Caucus.” 

“As the representative of the Triangle, home to some of America’s most esteemed universities, Congressman Price has led the charge on issues of education, science and technology,” she said. “His leadership has helped bring a college education within reach to countless Americans, and his tireless advocacy for federal investment in research and development has helped power the engine of American innovation.  

“At the helm of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, he also has served as a ‘Cardinal of the Congress’ – helping guide the appropriations process with his steady hand and legislative experience,” Pelosi said.

Rep. Mike Doyle.

As for Doyle, who first joined the House in 1994, he said in a brief announcement Monday that after 14 terms in Congress he simply believes the “time has come to pass the torch to the next generation.”

His decision also comes as the redistricting process is underway in Pennsylvania, which will lose one of its 18 congressional districts as a result.

While Doyle’s district wasn’t going to be eliminated, it will certainly change significantly, as he himself noted Monday.

“The redistricting will change this district and most likely push it outside of Allegheny County,” he said to a small gathering of reporters.

“This is a good transition time for a new member to start in a newly drawn district,” he said.

But there were other reasons behind his decision as well, he said.

“First and most importantly, my wife and I have discussed how we want to spend our retirement together now that our family is grown and on their own, and I think the pandemic has accelerated those plans,” he explained.

“Second, the district deserves to hear from a robust field of candidates, and I want to make sure potential candidates have enough time to fundraise and put their platform in front of the voters,” Doyle continued. “There are many people who might not consider running if they thought I was going to run, so I want to give them the time and opportunity to do so. 

“And finally, with no incumbents running in the current 17th & 18th Districts, there is an opportunity to look at the Congressional map in Allegheny County with fresh eyes, hopefully preserving two Democratic seats,” he said. 

As in the case of Price, Speaker Pelosi had nothing but praise for Doyle, saying that in his nearly 27 years in Congress, he’s always been “a strong champion of jobs and opportunity for the people of Pittsburgh and for Americans across the country.”

“The son of a steelworker, Congressman Doyle has always been about jobs and the future,” Pelosi said. “As Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Congressman Doyle is the maestro of Democrats’ work to expand access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet and to protect a free and open Internet.  

“His work to advance the clean energy economy of the future has helped create jobs, improve public health and protect our national security, while tackling the climate crisis and leaving a healthier, more sustainable planet For The Children,” she said.

“Congressman Doyle’s many friends in the Congress, on both sides of the aisle, will miss his leadership and friendship,” Pelosi added.

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