North Carolina’s Virginia Foxx and Patrick McHenry to chair committees on education and financial institutions
WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans filled their top committee seats this week, choosing the leaders who will set the course for bills and issues for the new majority in the 118th Congress.
Veteran GOP lawmakers from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri were among those who won the right to head up panels.
The top gavels were doled out Monday by “making sure that our committees are represented by a full swath of our membership,” Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said during a GOP leadership press conference Tuesday morning after majority lawmakers began the ratification process in a closed-door meeting.
“You don’t want to wait until a bill’s on the floor to recognize that there might be an issue. You take care of those issues in committee and that’s why you want the entire conference represented, the different groups within our conference represented on the various committees, and we’re going to be working to do that,” he said.
Organization of the committees had been delayed by an historic House speaker contest in which members voted in 15 ballots over multiple days before California Republican Kevin McCarthy finally was elected.
A handful of far-right Republicans essentially blockaded the slim majority McCarthy needed while a behind-the-scenes deal was worked out to include the opposition’s priorities, which included committee representation. The GOP on Monday approved a rules package to govern the new House in a mostly party line vote. A reported separate addendum — not part of the package — has not been made public.
Scalise denied any closed-door deals for committee placements, and said “there’s no addendum.”
McCarthy “made it very clear that there were no gavels given out, there were no deals like that that were made,” Scalise said, referring to a Tuesday morning communication by the speaker with conference members.
Scalise said leadership will be “looking very closely” at Democratic appointments to the minority committee ranks.
Among the new chairs: Read more