By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/29/12 04:07 PM EST
"We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating, and the American people are asking for change in Congress, and so I'm announcing today that I will leave the Congress at the end of this year," the 16-term member joked.
Dreier said he decided to announce his retirement on the floor because he is a "proud institutionalist."
"I believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been," he said. "And I announce it here because … this is where the people of California sent me to represent them."