House Majority Leader Dick Armey will retire

| 12/13/2001

Texas Republican Dick Armey announced Wednesday his plans to retire, opening up a powerful leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003. Armey, who currently serves as the House Majority Leader, said he would serve out the balance of his present two-year term.

"While this is a sad announcement for me," said Armey, "I am consoled by the fact that I have one more year to serve in the leadership of this body. I am looking forward to that being the best year ever. We are just completing an outstanding legislative year and we will do even more next year. I do not intend to miss one minute of it."

A former economics professor, Armey began his House career in 1985, during the Reagan administration. The 61-year-old Armey has held the position since the Republican party took over the House in 1994.

The House of Representatives' leadership position is an elected one, as is the position of the whip, the person responsible for scheduling legislation for floor consideration and promoting party unity in voting. The position is now held by Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas. According to published reports, DeLay is already at work lining up commitments to succeed Armey in 2003. If this happens, DeLay's deputy, Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, could become whip.