Third Top GOP Labor Appropriations Member Retiring

Election Day 2008 is about nine months away, but it is already clear that members of the U.S. House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee who hold the purse strings of the Labor Department will change significantly. Rep. Jim Walsh, the Republican ranking member, announced Jan. 24 that he won't run for re-election this fall after 10 terms representing the 25th Congressional District, which includes Syracuse. The next two Republicans in seniority on the House Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee also are leaving: Rep. Ralph Regula of Ohio and Rep. John Peterson of Pennsylvania.

Fourth in line among the Republicans and running for re-election this year is Rep. Dave Weldon, a physician who represents Florida's 15th Congressional District and lives in Melbourne, Fla. Water issues, space issues, and autism have been three of his top issues during his time in Congress, but he'll be ranking member of the subcommittee if he wins in November or even chairman if the Republicans achieve an unexpected recapture of control in the House.

Barring upsets this fall, the Democratic roster on the House appropriations subcommittee and both parties' members on the Senate appropriations subcommittee are likely to remain stable.

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