Texas’ delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will get a major makeover next year. Nine Texans are leaving the House, and we’ve asked each of them to talk with Texas Standard about their time in office.
Rep. Gene Green is a Democrat from the Houston area. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972, then he moved to the Texas Senate in 1985. Green won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. He has been reelected 12 times.
On his biggest achievement and missed opportunity:
The biggest issue in my years was the Affordable Care Act. I was on the health sub-committee. We took many weekends, many nights to draft the Affordable Care Act. Even within Texas one of my biggest misgivings is the Supreme Court ruled that states could only take regular Medicaid without the expansion that we had.
On why he’s leaving Congress:
My wife and I have been married 48 years, and 46 of those years I’ve been on the ballot every two years. We talked about [retirement] over the last decade, but there was still things I wanted to do… Last year I turned 70 and I told her we need to decide. It can’t be my decision it has to be yours because she’s been my campaign treasurer and manager in every campaign I’ve had since I was a state representative. And we both decided that we don’t have time for our grandchildren that don’t live in Houston.
On what’s next for him:
I don’t think anyone who’s ever served a long as I have can say that they’ve left politics because it’s been in my blood for the last 46 years… I told people that I am not going to die in Washington D.C. I’m from Texas, I’m a native Texan, I’m gonna go home. And you know when you turn 70, 71 now I hope I have enough time left to do some good things that may not be in elected office.