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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Frustrated With Congress, Bayh Drops Out

WASHINGTON (CN) - Senator Evan Bayh announced Monday that he would not run for re-election. "I do not love Congress," said the Indiana Democrat. "Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples' business is not being done."

To illustrate the political gamesmanship taking place in Congress, Bayh pointed to the Senate's rejection of a proposal a couple weeks ago that would have established a bipartisan commission to deal with the ballooning federal deficit. "The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted 'no' for short-term political reasons," he said.

Bayh said observers should not take his announcement to mean that he is not happy with his colleagues or with President Obama, and he said that he is not leaving because he thinks he wouldn't win a third term.

"For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should," Bayh said. "I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way."

In the upcoming November elections, 36 of the 100 Senate seats will be up for a vote, 18 from each party. Of these, five sitting Democrats and six Republicans have announced that they will not seek re-election.

In the Senate, Republicans currently control 41 votes and Democrats control 59, including two independents.

Of the Democrats, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Ted Kaufman of Delaware, Roland Burris of Illinois, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota have said they would not run for reelection.

Of the Republicans, George LeMieux from Florida, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Kit Bond of Missouri, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and George Voinovich of Ohio will not be seeking another six-year term.

In the House, an election will be held on all 435 seats. Of that, 14 Democrats and 18 Republicans are retiring.

Bayh was elected to the Senate in 1998. Before that, he was the state secretary, then Indiana governor.

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