On the eve of the Tea Party’s political rally in Michigan aimed at unseating Bart Stupak, the Democratic Representative announced April 9 that he will retire from the House in November, ending his 18 year run in Congress.
The socially conservative Democrat came under fire from Tea Party members last month after cutting an 11th hour deal with the White House, virtually assuring passage of President Obama’s landmark healthcare reform bill.
In return for his vote and the votes of some of his colleagues, Stupak convinced Obama to agree to sign an executive order guaranteeing that no federal money will be used to fund abortion services. Following the signing of the legislation in late February, the nine-term congressman has been heavily criticized by liberals and conservatives alike.
Meanwhile, Stupak is claiming that his decision to retire has nothing to do with political pressure, but is rather a result of him feeling confident about his legacy.
"The Tea Party did not run me out," he told ABC News. "If you know me and my personality, I would welcome the challenge."
"I’ve fought my whole career for healthcare and thanks to Barack Obama and my colleagues, we’ve gotten it done," he added.