House Proceeds with Committee Assignments After Passing Rules Package
A busy first day of week two of the 118th Congress in the House of Representatives. The Republican Steering Committee met all day and decided the chairmanships for the final committees.
Ways and Means: Jason Smith (R-MO)
Homeland Security: Mark Green (R-TN)
Education and Workforce: Virginia Fox (R-NC)
Budget: Jody Arrington (R-TX)
Small Business: Roger Williams (R-TX)
The House also passed the Rules package for the 118th Congress. This was a strong demonstration of support for Speaker McCarthy from the full Republican conference. The Rules package contained much of the agreement between Speaker McCarthy’s team and the conservative holdouts that led to his election on the 15th ballot.
Additional work remains to complete the organization of the House. The committees must be “populated” with Members from both parties. With the change in control from Democrats to Republicans, the ratio of Members from both parties who serves on the committees changed. Generally, the ratios are intended to reflect the partisan split in the House as a whole. In the 117th Congress, however, Speaker Pelosi’s committee ratios far exceeded the Democrats' margin in the full House, when they had a 3-5 seat majority throughout the last Congress. With a four-seat majority in the 118th, Speaker McCarthy intends to follow the Pelosi precedent and the Republican margin on the committees will exceed the ratio in the full House. This will provide lots of openings for Republicans on key committees, including the Ways and Means Committee, Appropriations, Financial Services and Energy and Commerce. Newly elected Democrats will find it difficult to find seats on key committees. Republicans have also created several select committees or subcommittees that will also provide opportunities for Members to serve in high-profile assignments. The Select Subcommittee on the Corona Virus Pandemic, The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party and a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government each have approximately 12 Members. The Select Committee on the strategic competition with China in particular will be a sought-after assignment for many Members of both parties.
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