WASHINGTON (10/1/13)--Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), a former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced Monday morning that he will not seek another term in office.
Bachus, 65, has 16 months left to his current term and noted in a public statement that he will "devote his full energies to his legislative duties and serving his constituents during the remainder of his current term."
Bachus has been considered by some to be a lawmaker strongly guided by a conservative political philosophy but willing to consider individual issues on their own merits.
For credit unions, this has meant an interesting journey in a relationship with the prominent lawmaker, according to Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan.
Donovan noted Monday, "Here you have someone who voted against H.R. 1151...and through the tireless effort of the Alabama credit unions and CUNA, he developed into a strong credit union supporter as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, ultimately co-sponsoring our supplemental capital legislation." H.R. 1151, of course, is the landmark 1998 legislation that authorized credit unions to have multiple common bonds among their memberships.
"Bachus' development as a credit union supporter has been remarkable and it shows what can happen when credit union advocacy is viewed as a long game," Donovan remarked.
In his statement announcing his decision not to seek re-election, Bachus said, "There is much important work that remains to be done and what I would like to see above anything else before I leave is a spending reduction plan that will put the federal government on a sensible and sustainable financial path going forward."
He added, "It has been the greatest privilege imaginable to serve as the representative of the people of Alabama in the United States House of Representatives. It is an honor that I never dreamed could have been possible for me and the words 'thank you' are far from adequate."
He said his planned exit was a family decision and added that now is the time to "allow others to have the opportunity to serve."
Bachus was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992. He currently serves on the Financial Services Committee as chairman emeritus and chairs the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law.