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Inside Politics

Sources: Greenwood to leave House

Pennsylvania Republican mulls job opportunity

America Votes 2004
Jim Greenwood

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Jim Greenwood, a six-term moderate Republican up for re-election in November, has told GOP leaders he will leave Congress at the end of his term, sources told CNN.

The sources -- a GOP leadership aide and a Republican lawmaker on the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- said Greenwood informed the leaders Monday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Greenwood issued a statement acknowledging that he was considering a new job. He said he will make a decision on whether to stay in the House "in the very near future."

Greenwood said that during his 20 years in public service he's been approached many times about "other types of challenges and opportunities" and that he is "currently reviewing one of these opportunities."

A source who is close to the congressman said Greenwood is considering an offer to head BIO, the powerful trade association for the biotechnology industry.

If Greenwood steps down he would join a growing list of Northeast moderate Republicans leaving the House. Others include Rep. Jack Quinn and Rep. Amo Houghton, both of New York.

Greenwood chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He made headlines with his investigations of Martha Stewart's stock trades and the collapse of the Enron Corp

His term ends January 2005.

Greenwood represents an area of Bucks County near Philadelphia that has leaned toward moderates. He has held office for six terms, despite the area's vote for Al Gore in 2000.

Democrats were licking their chops Monday. "It's a great district for us. I think it's another moderate fleeing the right-wing Congress," a source with the Democratic Congressional Campaign said.

Rep. Michael Bilirakis, a Florida Republican, said he was informed by the GOP leadership of Greenwood's decision. He suggested the seat could remain in the hands of a moderate Republican.

"We all need checks and balances," he said. "We've got to have a pretty strong moderate group. I suppose other moderates will be elected to those seats."

CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

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