Rep. Mike Rogers, the tough-talking Michigan Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday he won’t seek re-election to another term.
Rogers, 50, a former FBI agent and seven-term House veteran, told Detroit radio station WJR-AM he will become a nationally syndicated radio host.
A staunch conservative, Rogers was known for an ability to work with Democrats on highly sensitive intelligence matters. And his affable manner made him a favorite in Republican political circles; he was seen as a popular ambassador for the party, someone who could talk reasonably and articulately about national security matters.
Last year he and top committee Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., teamed up on a cybersecurity measure that increases cooperation between government and technology interests.
Earlier this week, they proposed curbs on the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection. Their plan was simliar to the one proposed by the White House, which said the NSA would be able to get records for specific information only with permission from a judge through a court order.
NSA would have to show “reasonable and articulable suspicion that an individual phone number is associated with terrorism” before a company could give it data connected to the suspected number.
Rogers drew some ire from other conservatives last year, when he and other House leaders fought an effort to defund the NSA program that collects photo records of people in this country.
Rogers, who last year was mentioned as a candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant Michigan U.S. Senate seat, said his decision was rooted in his desire to leave and try other avenues.
“I have always believed in our founder's idea of a citizen legislature. I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after,” he said in a statement. “The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress in 2014.
“ As I close this chapter in my life, I am excited to begin a new one that allows me to continue serving as a voice for American exceptionalism and support a strong nation security policy agenda.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, praised Rogers Friday, saying he "is as solid as they come--one of those patriots willing to go to the wall to keep the American people safe, no matter the strain or sacrifice."
But Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., was less generous.
"Senior Republican committee chairmen continue to flee John Boehner’s broken Congress rather than defend their indefensible record of siding with special interests over middle class families that has earned them record low approval ratings," Israel said.
" Voters in Michigan’s eighth congressional district have shown that this district is competitive – supporting President Obama in 2008 and nearly in 2012 – and they’re hungry for an agenda that puts the middle class first."