Rep. Sander Levin Talks Retirement and Tax Bill

“(Congress is) frightfully different, and I think America is short because of that.”

Over the weekend, we learned Michigan will soon lose the institutional knowledge of a long-time sitting congressman. Congressman Sander Levin — a Democrat from Royal Oak — says he will retire after his current term is finished this time next year.

There’s been a Levin in office since 1979 — Representative Levin assumed office in 1983, and his brother, former Senator Carl Levin, went to Washington in 1979.

Levin says much has changed in the 34 years he’s been in office, including an erosion of bipartisanship and collaboration.

“We don’t know each other, we don’t spend time with each other. It’s frightfully different, and I think America is short because of that,” Levin tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson.

It’s hard to know all that a state loses when long-serving members of Congress step down. But what’s clear is that when Congressman Levin leaves in a year, Michigan will lose clout on Capitol Hill. Levin says he hopes to continue being of public service as a lecturer at University of Michigan. 

While in Congress, Levin served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during Democratic control. He’s critical of the tax bill approved by the U.S. Senate late last week. 

“The Republicans having failed to repeal health care reform, and haven’t had a single major victory until now, I think they’re desperate for a victory.”

To hear more from Levin on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


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