03/10/2016 14:12 EST | Updated 03/11/2017 00:12 EST

Fla. GOP Rep. Jeff Miller to retire after 8 terms

WASHINGTON — Eight-term Florida Republican Jeff Miller, the chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, has announcement his retirement from the House at the end of the current term.

Miller has generally avoided the limelight over his House career, but he was catapulted two years ago into a high-pressure negotiation with Sen. Bernie Sanders over legislation to improve the veterans' health care system in the wake of a scandal over long wait times for patients and by falsified records that covered up those delays.

The odd couple of Miller — who represents a conservative district in Florida's Panhandle — and the liberal Sanders ultimately produced a $16 billion agreement after weeks of sometimes testy talks. Sanders is running an unexpectedly strong race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Associated Press