George Miller announced Monday that he will not seek re-election after 40 years in Congress. Here is a look at what his colleagues and friends said about his decision:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco -- "For 40 years in the House, George Miller has been the model of the serious, substantive and successful legislator. In the majority, as chairman of three committees, and in the minority as well, he has written some of the most creative legislation of our time -- on health care, education, child policy and labor rights, and also on the environment, energy and national parks. George always incorporated the most current research of our best thinkers into innovative bills, and he passed most of them with bipartisan support.
"I especially value his long service to the Democratic Leadership as co-chairman of our Steering and Policy Committee, working with our Caucus to address jobs, economic innovation, child health and nutrition and a host of other national priorities. His foresight in the area of budget policy led him to originate the Pay-As-You-Go deficit reduction strategy that helped us balance the budget in an intelligent way.
"Now the Dean of California's congressional delegation, George has always drawn a special inspiration from the creativity and innovativeness that is so crucial to our home state. He has worked closely with state leaders in so many fields to modernize education, reform natural resource policies, and serve the needs of children and those with special needs. And of course, he has always worked to reform water policy and enhance his beloved Delta.
"Capitol Hill and California are filled with Democrats and Republicans alike who have enjoyed working with George Miller and who deeply respect him because his dedication to the issues and his excitement for the legislative process are infectious and undiluted by the years he has served or the challenges he had faced. For me, as Speaker and Democratic Leader, George's patriotism, wisdom and guidance have been especially valued, and he has been a close friend since my first days in the House.
"My sadness at his departure from Congress in 2015 is mitigated only by my certainty that he will utilize his exemplary knowledge and skills in a new venue where he will surely again be a successful leader for our state and our nation. I congratulate him on 40 years of inspired and inspirational leadership, I look forward to working closely with him during his last year of service in the House, and I wish him and Cynthia, and his beautiful family, many years of enjoyment and happiness together."
Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Director Greg Feere -- "I understand his decision and I accept it, but I don't like it."
Richmond City Councilman Jim Rogers -- "It's not like losing a politician, it's like losing an institution. I've been in politics a long time, and I can't think of someone who has done so much for so long for his or her district as Miller has."
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord -- "George Miller has proudly represented his constituents in Contra Costa County for over 40 years in Congress. In his exemplary service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he wrote or co-wrote many of the significant laws that brought health care to the uninsured, improved wages for working families, helped students pay down their student loans, and protected California's natural resources from development. His dedication to his constituents and leadership that he provided for Contra Costa County and California will be truly missed."
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton -- "George's retirement is not only a great loss for the people of his congressional district and the people of California but for the nation as well. As a legislator, he was a giant in the areas of workers' rights for both men and women, on the environment, in solving water problems, in advocating for infants, children and families and in particular the WIC program. His work and service have left a great mark in the Bay Area and beyond, but after 40 years of service, I'm sure it's time to come home. Welcome home, George."
Rep. Eric Stalwell, D-Dublin -- "Congressman George Miller has been a champion for working families, students and Bay Area residents for 40 years, and he will be sorely missed in the House of Representatives. He is a true public servant. The policies he spearheaded, from raising the minimum wage to protecting student borrowers to defending our natural resources, have improved the lives of countless Americans across the country.
"As a fellow Bay Area representative, I cannot thank George enough for his mentorship, support and guidance this year. We are lucky to have had a dedicated leader like George Miller, and I wish him and his family the very best during this next chapter of their lives."
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa -- "This is the biggest public service loss to California in my lifetime. George leaving Congress will have a greater impact on our state than any past retirement from public office. During his 40 years of service, he has championed issues important to our communities, state and nation, including improvements to education, job creation, conservation, deficit reduction and labor rights, while playing a leading role in reforming our health care system and protecting the Bay Delta. And, he was always willing to work with anyone, on any side of the aisle, to better his district and our county.
"Congress and California will miss George and his leadership -- and I will miss one of my closest colleagues and friends. It has been a high honor to serve with George for so many years, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him for the remainder of his current term and beyond to better our communities and state."
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez -- "There have been few members of Congress more committed to improving the lives of workers and their families than George Miller. His exemplary, incomparable service over four decades will not soon be forgotten. From health care to the environment, from education to labor rights, from job training to worker safety, George Miller has always been in the vanguard, moving our nation forward and creating more opportunity for more people.
"George Miller has been a friend to the Department of Labor. In my short time as Secretary, I have been grateful for his partnership, and I look forward to working with him this year on important issues like raising the minimum wage and continuing to improve workplace safety. The House of Representatives will miss his leadership. So will the working families around the country he has fought for all these years."
Orinda Councilwoman and Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chairwoman Amy Worth -- "George has no fear," said "He takes on the tough issues with such confidence and passion that even people who disagree with him cannot ignore him."