Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, a champion of housing finance reform who co-authored the PATH Act, which would have wound down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will not seek re-election in 2016.
Neugebauer, the chairman of the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, announced Thursday that he intends to retire from Congress when his current term ends in Jan. 2017.
“Every two years, the American people decide who they want to represent them in the ‘People’s House.’ I have asked for that honor seven times, you have overwhelmingly given me that opportunity each time, and I thank you for that,” Neugebauer said in a statement posted on his congressional website.
“After much thought and prayer, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2016,” Neugebauer continued. “This was a difficult decision, but I feel this is a good time to end this season of my life and move to another.”
In his time in Congress, Neugebauer has advocated for housing finance reform. Earlier this year, he was a panelist at Bipartisan Policy Center’s discussion on reforming the nation’s housing finance system.
During that panel, Neugebauer said that the government’s current role in housing is not a sustainable model.
“Now we have federal government handling the housing finance market and in reality controlling the housing industry,” Neugebauer said in May. “The majority think that’s not a good direction to go. It’s not good for government to be able to manipulate an industry so important to the American economy.”
In his statement, Neugebauer said that although he will not seek re-election, he believes his work in the House is not done yet.
“While I am announcing that I will not seek re-election, I am not walking away from the important work that lies ahead,” Neugebauer said. “There are still 15 months left in this Congress, and I am committed to work tirelessly on your behalf until the final gavel ends this Congress in January 2017 and another individual takes that special oath soon after.”
Neugebauer began his tenure in Congress in 2003, and began his tenure as a public servant as a member of the Lubbock, Texas City Council in 1992.
Neugebauer said that he is retiring to spend more time with his family.
“There will be a lot of speculation on why I came to this decision. Some will say it’s health reasons; I feel great and I am cancer-free,” Neugebauer said. “The bottom line is that I really think this is the right time for my family and me to have more time together. I have a four-year-old granddaughter that I have never been with on her birthday.”
Neugebauer said that working for the people of his district has been a “labor of love,” and that he is looking forward to the next chapter of his life.
“I love this country and spending every day making sure we leave a bright future for the next generation has been my passion,” Neugebauer said.
“Dana (his wife) and I have experienced the American dream and I want to make sure that same opportunity exists in the future,” he concluded. “I am looking forward to the next season God has for Dana and me. I hope it brings more time for family and maybe a little more time for fly-fishing as well.”