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U.S. lawmaker Mike Rogers to retire, host radio show

Source: Reuters - Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:16 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds quotes, Cumulus statement, background)

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers plans to leave Congress after this year to host a talk radio show for Cumulus Media Inc , the Michigan congressman said on Friday.

"I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after. The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress in 2014," the Republican said in a statement.

Speaking earlier to a Detroit radio station, Rogers said he plans to start his Cumulus show in January, the Detroit News reported.

"They may have lost my vote in Congress, but you haven't lost my voice," he told WJR-AM, according to the newspaper.

Rogers, a former FBI agent who has led the House intelligence panel since 2011, has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration, including its handling of Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

"I think Putin is playing chess and I think we're playing marbles," he told "Fox News Sunday" this month. "And I don't think it's even close."

He has also been a strong supporter of the National Security Agency surveillance programs and this week unveiled a bipartisan measure to reform metadata collection that is similar to President Barack Obama's plan.

"As I close this chapter in my life, I am excited to begin a new one that allows me to continue serving as a voice for American exceptionalism and support a strong national security policy agenda," Rogers said on Friday.

In a statement, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey said: "We are thrilled to have Chairman Rogers join our team. He has been instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time and will play a significant role in our expanding content platform."

Rogers, 50, has served seven terms in Congress and is the 40th member of the House to announce that they will not seek re-election in November: 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats. Republicans now hold the House, 233 to 199 with three vacancies, and are widely expected to increase their margin on Election Day. (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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