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Upton, Rogers Win Committee Chairs

Fred Upton's win over Joe Barton is a slap in the face for the old time Texan, who lost his bid to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee this afternoon. Upton launched a campaign in the days leading up to the vote, trying to reassure Republicans that he wouldn't cave to moderate demands, such as his ill-placed vote against the incandescent light bulb. Barton had to wrangle with a term-limits issue and his BP gaffe, which probably cost him the chairmanship.

Hal Rogers of Kentucky won the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, the powerful committee that controls the budgeting process every year. Rogers has been widely criticized as a pork barrel spender, though has more recently adopted an anti-earmark stance. He'll be taking the gavel from retiring Democratic Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin.

The wins must be approved by a full Republican conference, but that's just a formality. It will be up to these guys to help Rep. John Boehner hold down the fort for the next two years.

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