WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the powerful U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, said on Monday he will retire at end of his current term, adding to a growing list of Republican lawmakers who will not seek re-election.
Frelinghuysen, whose committee controls the congressional purse strings, was facing the prospect of a tough fight for re-election in November in New Jersey, and his retirement could increase the likelihood that a Democrat captures his seat.
Democrats are hoping to regain control of the House and Senate from Republicans in the November mid-term elections.
Frelinghuysen, who represents a suburban district in northern New Jersey, was first elected to Congress in 1994.
“I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves my constituents, my state and our country,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement, adding that he hopes that Republicans and Democrats can work together on federal spending.
Reporting by Susan Heavey and Katanga Johnson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Will Dunham