New York Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins will be leaving the United States Congress in February.
For nearly two decades, Rep. Higgins has served as a member of Congress, representing the residents of the 26th district of New York. In a dramatic move, he announced his intention to leave Congress in a joint statement with Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.
Rep. Higgins, who has been an outspoken voice in support of the Affordable Care Act, plans to join the New York State Department of Health, where he will be responsible for the oversight of programs to improve healthcare access and quality of care.
In addressing members of Congress on his departure, Rep. Higgins said, “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of the 26th district of New York. I am grateful for the trust placed in me, and it is with joy that I now go to serve in New York State where I can use my experience to help make our healthcare system better for everyone in our state.”
The loss of Rep. Higgins’ more than two decades of dedicated service in the US Congress is a major blow to the Democratic party. He was a key member of the House Judiciary Committee, and held senior positions in the House Appropriations Committee and the House Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission).
Rep. Higgins has long been an advocate for economic growth in his district. He has successfully fought for infrastructure improvements and helped bring economic development projects, such as the $1.2 billion Buffalo River Crossing Bridge, to the area.
Speaker Pelosi said, “Congressman Higgins has been a fierce advocate for the people of the 26th district. As he transitions to a new mission in New York State, I thank him for his tireless service and unwavering devotion to his constituents and our country.”
The sudden annoucement of Rep. Higgins’ departure and his decision to serve the people of New York through the Department of Health have been met with disappointment and surprise. Nevertheless, his dedication to the people he has represented and the state of New York will be greatly missed in the US Congress.