New York House Democrat Brian Higgins is stepping down due to frustrations in Congress

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) announced Sunday that he plans to resign in February after 19 years, citing frustration in Congress during a particularly turbulent year for the chamber.

Higgins, who represents New York’s heavily Democratic 26th Congressional District, pointed to growing dysfunction.

“I have always been a bit impatient, and this trait has helped us make remarkable progress for this community,” Higgins said in a statement. “But the pace in Washington, D.C., can be slow and frustrating, especially this year.”

“Therefore, after careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to leave Congress and explore other ways in which I can build and serve Buffalo and Western New York,” he continued.

Higgins, 64, began his 10th term in office in January 2023. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee. Higgins is co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canadian-American Parliamentary Caucus. He is co-chair of the bipartisan Cancer Caucus.

He joins a number of other House members who announced their departure in recent weeks.

“Nineteen years ago this month, I was first elected to Congress, and doing this work has truly been the honor of a lifetime,” he said in the statement.

“I never stayed on Capitol Hill, going there on a mission to change my community and coming home on the first flight every week, because being in Western New York, talking to people here, provides an urgent reminder of what I was sent,” he added. “Washington has to do that.” “.

The Associated Press reported that Higgins made the announcement at a news conference at the Buffalo History Museum.

“It’s just a time for a change, and I think this is the right time,” he said. “I want to come back to the city and serve this city that I have represented in Washington for the past 19 years.”

“Congress is not the institution I went to 19 years ago. It’s a very different place today.” “We’re spending more time doing less. The American people are not being served.”

During the announcement, he reportedly said he was receiving offers but didn’t know what he would do next when he leaves in February.

Local media reported that Higgins would likely accept a job at the prestigious Buffalo Shea Performing Arts Center, but his office would not confirm that report.

In a statement to The Hill, Higgins’ spokesperson did not directly respond to whether the congressman intends to take a position at the prestigious theater, but said: “Congressman Higgins today announced plans to leave Congress in February. He will have more to say about future plans in the coming weeks.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) issued a statement after the announcement Sunday, calling Higgins a “dedicated public servant” who “brought the best of Buffalo to the House Democratic Caucus family.”

“For nearly two decades, Brian Huggins has portrayed Buffalo’s hometown congressman,” Jeffries said. “In Congress, and in the State Assembly and Buffalo’s Common Council before that, Brian has been a relentless champion of economic development and prosperity in the city. Brian has left an indelible mark on Buffalo’s waterfront and its revitalized biomedical research institutions and infrastructure.”

“As a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee, Brian has been a strong advocate for Social Security and Medicare and an advocate for lowering health care costs for families in Western New York and across the country,” Jeffries added. During his time in Congress, Brian also served with distinction on the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees, representing America’s national security interests abroad and here at home.

Updated at 6:08 p.m

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