House Veterans' Affairs chairman to retire
© Greg Nash

House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of this year, after more than five years chairing the panel.

Miller, who has served in the House since 2001, said in a statement that he and his wife feel it is "time to pass the torch."

"Fifteen years ago, when Vicki and I were praying about running for Congress, we could have never imagined what may lie ahead. As we made our decision, we knew there would come a day when it would be time to pass the torch. That day has come, and I am announcing I will not seek reelection to Congress," Miller said.

Miller pledged to serve out the remainder of his term as House Veterans' Affairs chairman, where he was term-limited at the end of this year due to House GOP conference rules that limit lawmakers to three terms as chairman or ranking minority member.

"There is still more to accomplish before I depart. I intend to complete my tenure as House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chairman while maintaining the same robust oversight of VA that has defined my chairmanship," Miller said.

Miller's tenure as chairman includes oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during the controversy over the wait times veterans had to endure for medical care. That led to passage of a bipartisan VA reform package in 2014, which allowed veterans to seek care outside of VA facilities and provided funds to hire more VA doctors.

Miller is the third House Republican chairing a committee to announce their retirement. Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.), who chairs the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who heads the House Administration Committee, are both retiring.