House Republicans elect panel leaders

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2014 2:52 PM

(Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday confirmed the committee heads whom party leaders selected for the two-year congressional session beginning in January.

Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan was tapped to chair the Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees funding the U.S. government funding through taxes, and programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

"We have a lot of work to do to get our economy back on track, and the Ways and Means Committee will be at the forefront of reform," Ryan said in a statement.

Replacing Ryan as head of the Budget Committee will be Georgia Representative Tom Price. The panel considers the president's annual budget proposal and, along with its counterpart in the U.S. Senate, sets annual spending levels.

Kentucky Representative Hal Rogers will again lead the Appropriations Committee, which doles out money allocated in the budget to a variety of government entities.

Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling will again head the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over banking, insurance and currency.

"House Republicans know the only real way to grow the economy is from Main Street up, not Washington down," Hensarling said in a statement.

Texas Representative Mac Thornberry will chair the Armed Services Committee, which oversees defense policy, including the Department of Defense.

Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz will head the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, replacing California's Darrell Issa. The panel acts as a watchdog of the president's administration.

Texas Representative Mike Conaway will chair the Committee on Agriculture; Minnesota's John Kline will remain chair the Committee on Education and the Workforce; and Fred Upton of Michigan will remain head the Energy and Commerce Committee.

California's Ed Royce will again chair the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Michael McCaul of Texas will remain leader of the Homeland Security Committee.

Virginia's Bob Goodlatte will remain head of the Judiciary Committee; Rob Bishop of Utah will chair the Committee on Natural Resources; and Lamar Smith of Texas will again lead the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Ohio's Steve Chabot will head the Small Business Committee; Bill Schuster of Pennsylvania will again chair the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Florida's Jeff Miller will again lead the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Republicans in the Senate are expected to select panel leaders sometime next month.

(Reporting By Amanda Becker and David Lawder)