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George Miller, a PPACA architect, to retire

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(Bloomberg) — Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat who helped draft some of the legislation that led to the creation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), has announced that he will retire from Congress.

Miller, the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee since 2001, also worked on 401(k) plan advisor fiduciary and fee disclosure legislation, and he wrote the legislation that raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.

Miller worked on PPACA while chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee. Two other leaders of the House effort to draft PPACA included Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

Miller said today that he won’t run for re-election this year and will leave after this session of Congress ends early next year.

“I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health-care reform,” Miller said in a statement.

Miller, 68, is an ally of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who described him in a statement as a “close friend” and “the model of the serious, substantive and successful legislator.”

“I have not won every fight that I have waged,” Miller said in his statement. “And there remain, of course, many critical challenges waiting to be addressed. But I have no regrets about what I have accomplished and what I have tried to accomplish in the public interest.”

“No one would confuse me and George Miller for ideological soul mates,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement. “But during our years serving together on the Education and the Workforce Committee, we got things done on behalf of the American people thanks in no small part to his dedication and willingness to work for the greater good.”

Born in 1945 and elected in 1974, Miller is one of fewer than 20 lawmakers who have served more than half their lives in the U.S. Congress. While in Washington, he lives in a two-bedroom rowhouse with Senate Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Charles Schumer of New York.

He’s one of just two remaining Democrats known as “Watergate babies” of the freshman class elected in 1974, in which 75 Democrats won in the aftermath of the scandal that cost Richard M. Nixon the presidency. The other is Waxman.

–With assistance from Brian Nutting and Roxana Tiron in Washington. Editors: Laurie Asseo, Robin Meszoly

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