Dorgan announces plans to retire after 30 years in DC
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee,announced his plans to retire after 30 years of service in the nation's capitol.

Dorgan became chairman of the committee in January 2007, at the start of the 110th Congress. He has used his leadership to focus on health, education and housing issues in Indian Country as part of an attempt to steer the agenda away from gaming and gaming-related controversies.

"From fighting for our energy future to standing with North Dakota's families through difficult economic times, Senator Dorgan has been a trusted leader for the people of his state," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "He has also been a champion for our family farmers and a powerful voice for Indian Country -- particularly through his recent work to improve Indian health care services."

Just last month, Dorgan announced a deal to include a permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act in the national health reform bill. It's the closest the IHCIA has come to passage in the last decade.

"Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life. I have written two books and have an invitation from a publisher to write two more books. I would like to do some teaching and would also like to work on energy policy in the private sector," Dorgan said in a letter announcing his retirement this year.

Get the Story:
Dorgan to leave Senate, giving Republicans chance to win North Dakota seat (The Washington Post 1/6)

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