Bonds

Ruppersberger, co-chair and founder of the House Municipal Finance Caucus, set to retire

Maryland Democrat Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan House Municipal Finance Caucus, announced he will step down at the end of his current term.

“Clearly he will leave a void,” said Brett Bolton, vice president of federal legislative and regulatory policy at the Bond Dealers of America. “He’s been on the Hill forever and has been a champion for the industry.”

Ruppersberger founded the House Municipal Finance Caucus in 2016 and has served as its Democratic co-chair since. The caucus comprises a bipartisan group of lawmakers — 30 as of most recent count — who have pledged to support public finance priorities in Congress.

Priorities include protecting the tax exemption and “ensuring there is a robust market for municipal securities,” according to the website. The caucus also “helped avert tens of billions in infrastructure cuts” in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., the founder and co-chair of the House Municipal Finance Caucus, will step down at the end of his term.

Bloomberg News

A spokesperson said Ruppersberger has not yet talked about his replacement on the caucus, noting he still has 11 months left in his term.

He co-chairs the caucus with Rep. Rudy Yakym, R-Ind

Amid larger House turmoil in the last year, more than 40 representatives have announced they would step down at the end of their terms. On the caucus, that includes Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Flint, Michigan, who has supported public finance efforts including lead pipe replacement, as well as Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash.

Ruppersberger’s retirement ends a 21-year Congressional run. Before that, he served in the Baltimore County Council for 16 years.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me because, now more than ever, Congress needs thoughtful, end-game representatives like me — members who care more about constituents and our country and less about cable news hits,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “But it is time to pass the torch to a younger generation of leaders.”

Ruppersberger has been a Democratic leader on restoring tax-exempt advance refunding since 2018, which “is vital,” Bolton said. “He’s also done a good job in ensuring the caucus is evenly split in a bipartisan manner. The caucus definitely helps educate others on the Hill and helps others get involved.”

Ruppersberger served 12 years on the House Appropriations Committee.

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