Politics

Meet the New House Republican Committee Leaders

9 panels get new Republican leaders after 2018 cycle retirements

Texas Rep. Kay Granger will be the first woman to serve as top Republican on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans last week selected their new committee leaders to replace nine retiring GOP chairmen. 

The new leaders, however, will serve as ranking members since House Republicans will be in the minority next year. 

Republicans limit their committee leaders to six-year terms, regardless of whether they’re serving that time as ranking member or chairman. 

The following committee leaders, with exception of the House Administration Committee ranking member, were recommended by the Republican Steering Committee last week. Those choices were then ratified by the full House Republican Conference on Friday. 

Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House Republican leader, picked the new ranking member on the Administration panel. He also gets to select the top Republicans on the House Rules and Ethics committees but has yet to announce those picks. 

Appropriations

Texas Rep. Kay Granger, 75, is the first woman to serve as the top Republican appropriator. She replaces New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who is retiring after a single term as head of the committee. The 11-term congresswoman first joined the committee in 1999 and has led two subcommittees, State-Foreign Operations and most recently Defense. 

“In an era of divided government, our committee will play a vital role in advancing Republican priorities,” Granger said in a statement. “I look forward working alongside my colleagues in the House and Senate and with the Trump Administration to fix the appropriations process and advance conservative values in the 116th Congress.”

Financial Services

North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, 43, gave up his post as chief deputy whip to serve as the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee. The seven-term congressman has served on the panel since he first came to Congress in 2005. He replaces Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who is retiring after hitting his six-year term limit as chairman. 

“In the two years ahead, I look forward to working with my colleagues — both Republicans and Democrats alike — to produce innovative solutions that increase access to banking services and credit for all American,” McHenry said in a statement. “In addition, I will work in close consultation with the Trump Administration to ensure their ongoing regulatory relief efforts continue.”

Foreign Affairs

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul,56, moves over to serve as the top Republican on Foreign Affairs after reaching his six-year term limit as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. He replaces California Rep. Ed Royce, who is retiring after hitting his term limit as chairman.

The seven-term congressman said in a statement that working alongside incoming Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., it will be his mission to partner with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his congressional colleagues “to advance a foreign policy that promotes American leadership on the world stage.”

Homeland Security

Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, 60, replaces McCaul as the top Republican on Homeland Security. The eight-term congressman has served on the panel since its inception in 2005 and led three subcommittees during that time.

“I stand ready to fight for President Trump’s national security priorities including building the wall,” Rogers said in a statement. “I am proud to be the voice for Republicans’ principals on critical security issues facing our nation, and I’ll bring that to the Committee on the first day of the 116th Congress.”

Judiciary

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, 52, did not run for re-election to his leadership post as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference so that he could seek the top GOP spot on Judiciary. The third-term congressman has led several bipartisan efforts that have come out of the committee this Congress, including a prison overhaul measure and legislation updating music copyright laws. He replaces Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who is retiring after reaching his term limit as chairman.

“The Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction runs deep and wide, and I’ve been committed to advancing the conservative agenda as a member of the committee since day one,” Collins said. “It’s been an honor to legislate with my House colleagues and earn their trust.”

Oversight and Government Reform

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, 54 founding chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is the first member of his conservative group to get selected as the top Republican on a committee. His friend and current Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows dropped out of the running for Oversight ranking member so Jordan, who is the most senior Republican on the panel, could get it. 

A regular guest on Fox News, Jordan has become one of President Donald Trump’s fiercest defenders. The six-term congressman’s TV news appearances, including highlights of Jordan grilling witnesses at congressional hearings, have earned him praise from the president, who’s called Jordan a “bulldog.” Jordan replaces South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is retiring after holding the Oversight gavel for less than a full term.

Science, Space, and Technology

Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, 58, will hold his second committee leadership post as ranking member on Science. The 12-term congressman previously served six years as the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee. He replaces Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, who is retiring after reaching his term limit as chairman.

“As the Democrats retake control of the House, I look forward to leading my Republican colleagues in holding the new majority accountable and promoting a conservative agenda,” Lucas said in a statement.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, 55, will serve as the top Republican on the Transportation panel, which he’s been a member of since he first came to Congress in 2001. The nine-term congressman replaces Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, who is retiring after reaching his term limit as chairman.

“Infrastructure seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s to-do-list and I believe my experience as a professional pilot and legislator coupled with my policy depth and conservative values will serve the conference well as we begin discussions on an infrastructure bill,” Graves said in a statement, noting he’s willing to work across the aisle to “to craft an infrastructure proposal that includes finding a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund.”

Administration

Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, 48, was appointed to serve as the top Republican on the Administration Committee. The third-term congressman, who is co-chairman of the Main Street Caucus, was the most senior Republican on the panel. He replaces retiring Mississippi Rep. Gregg  Harper. 

“My top priority will be working to ensure we have an efficient and effective institution that is member driven and allows us to best serve our constituents back home,” Davis said in a statement. “I hope to continue the historically bipartisan nature of this committee and work with my Democrat counterpart to strengthen our federal election process and security.”

Watch: Paul Ryan’s Farewell Address on House Floor

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