House GOP Selects New Committee Chairmen

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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A number of House committees will see a shakeup in leadership next year, as GOP members approved the Steering Committee’s recommendations for chairmanships during their conference meeting Friday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan released a list of approved recommendations Thursday evening, showing seven changes slated for the 115th Congress.

“This morning the full Conference ratified the steering committee’s recommendations for committee chairmanships. Afterward, the speaker walked members through the process for delivering on our promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement. “He told members this is one of President-elect’s top priorities for Congress and one of the first things we will do in the House.”

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon — who had the endorsements of both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers — managed to edge out Illinois Rep. John Shimkus in the closed ballot election to head the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Walden, who was unable to run again for NRCC chairman as he had hit his term limit, will replace Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan.

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee will succeed House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller who led the panel for the past six years. Roe, a doctor and Korean war veteran, defeated Colorado Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman for the role.

“I’m thrilled with this job and obviously a little apprehensive at the same time, because it’s a big job and it’s a big just because it’s a personal job,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation after his win.

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is expected to take over for House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, who was termed out of his role. Rogers said there is “no one more ready for the job” than Frelinghuysen as he has sat on the panel for 21 years.

North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx will soon head The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, taking over for three-term Chairman John Kline of Minnesota.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce will retain their positions. In addition, Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Budget Chairmal Tom Price, Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, and Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz will also remain in current roles.

Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith, Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Session will hold steady positions.

The selections were made after sweeping changes to the Steering Committee, a move advocated by Ryan to include more voices of the rank and file members.

Ryan also appointed Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi to take over for House Administration Chairman Miller, Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana to replace Ethics Chairman Charlie Dent and Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio to succeed Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. The speaker also reappointed Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to stay in his current position.

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