President Barack Obama issued the following statement Friday afternoon in reaction to the announcement from U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller that he will not seek reelection when his term ends in 2014:
Jay Rockefeller first arrived in West Virginia as a young volunteer, eager to improve the lives of working families. And for more than four decades, he has continued to fight tirelessly on their behalf.
From his time in the state legislature to the Governor’s office to the Senate floor, Jay has built an impressive legacy, one that can be found in the children who have better schools, the miners who have safer working conditions, the seniors who have retired with greater dignity, and the new industries that he helped bring to West Virginia.
A long-time champion of health care reform, Jay was also instrumental in the fight to make sure that nobody in America has to go broke because they get sick.
Michelle and I join the people of West Virginia in thanking Senator Rockefeller for a lifetime of service, and I look forward to continuing to work with him over the next two years.