Vermont Senator Pat Leahy announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Leahy, 81, has been in the Senate for 46 years, making him the longest-serving current member of the Senate. When he retires, he will be the third-longest serving senator in U.S. history.
He is currently the Senate Appropriations Committee chair and the president pro tempore of the Senate, which makes him third in line for the presidency behind Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Leahy was briefly hospitalized earlier this year after experiencing muscle spasms. However, he was quickly released and given a clean bill of health by his doctors.
Leahy's seat is likely to remain in the Democrat's hands. Vermont voted in favor of Joe Biden by 35 points in 2020, and the state's other Senator, Bernie Sanders, is considered one of the most liberal members of the legislative body.
"I have reached the conclusion that it's time to put down the gavel," Leahy said at the Vermont State House. "It is time to pass a torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state. It's time to come home."