11-term Calif. Rep. McKeon announces retirement

By By DONNA CASSATA

WASHINGTON (AP) — An emotional Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has announced his retirement.

McKeon says Thursday that his term limit as chairman of the panel was a factor in his decision to step down after this year. His voice cracking, he vows at a Capitol Hill news conference to continue the fight for U.S. troops after he leaves.

The California Republican also expressed his support for Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, the committee vice chairman, to succeed him on the panel if the GOP maintains control of the House in November.

The 75-year-old McKeon was elected in 1992 in a district north of Los Angeles.

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