Off the Campaign Trail

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Rep. William Clinger, one of the principal Repubicans in Congress investigating the White House Travel Office scandal, said Monday that he would resign, in part to continue his job for months without the distractions of campaigning. "I've been here 18 years, and it's probably six or eight years longer than I intended to stay initially," said the nine-term Pennsylvanian, chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Congress' primary investigative panel. The 66-year-old Clinger is the third House committee chairman and the 12th House Republican to announce plans to retire or seek higher office. Part of his decision, he said, was based on his beliefe that the GOP will win the White House this year: "I've said in the past that whichever party has the presidency, government reform and oversight should be controlled by the other party to do an effective oversight. It would be hypocritical for me to continue in that role."