The powerful Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey, D-Wis., is expected to announce on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2010. First elected in 1969, Obey has not faced a serious challenge since the mid-1980s. Obey is being challenged this cycle by Republican Sean Duffy, a former cast member of MTV’s “The Real World,” and current District Attorney for Ashland County, Wisconsin.

Rep. Obey will become the second chairman of a House Committee to retire this cycle. In late 2009, Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, announced that he would not seek re-election.

UPDATE (12:15pm): NRCC Communications Director, Ken Spain, put out the following statement on the news.

"There is no question that David Obey was facing the race of his life and that is why it is understandable that the architect of President Obama's failed stimulus plan has decided to call it quits. It is ironic that a congressman who became infamously known for his short temper and angry tirades on the House floor, is going out with such a whimper."