Washington -- Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y., one of the key architects of the Liberty Zone Act, which provided $5 billion in tax breaks and incentives to help New Yorkers in lower Manhattan rebuild after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said he will retire at the end of this year after 18 years in Congress.
"I've decided that I'm not going to run again," Houghton, a moderate Republican from upstate New York, said upon declining to run for a tenth term. "I appreciate everything you've done for me and all the friendship you've given me. When you get to be 77 and you're looking at 78, that may be a good reason [to retire]. I don't want to be known as Strom Houghton."
Houghton is also chair of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee and a member of the International Relations Committee. Earlier this month, he introduced nine proposals to simplify the tax code, including expanding the alternative minimum tax exemption, establishing a single pass-through entity regime, and providing a uniform definition of "child" for tax-filing purposes.
A former chief executive of Corning Inc., which was founded by his great-grandfather in 1851, Houghton was first elected to Congress in 1986. Over the past year, he has been a vocal critic of both the war in Iraq and tax cuts.
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