Tea Party-backed freshmen win plum committee assignments

by
December 13, 2010

By Molly K. Hooper -The Hill

Most of the 22 House Republican freshmen-to-be selected to sit on much-coveted, A-list committees won their races with Tea Party backing.

The House Republican Steering Committee last week added the incoming members to the rosters of four powerful committees: Appropriations, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Financial Services.

House Republicans believe they were swept into power on Nov. 2 by a powerful anti-Washington wave of voter frustration over the amount of federal spending and a stagnant job market.

Speaker-to-be John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his fellow GOP leaders and representatives on the House Steering Committee ensured that members of the largest GOP freshmen class in 70 years were given spots on influential panels.

Nearly half of the new GOP spots on the House Appropriations Committee were given to incoming members.

The Steering Committee tapped four Tea Party-backed representatives-elect to serve on the powerful spending panel.

GOP Rep.-elect Alan Nunnelee (Miss.) was one of nearly a dozen candidates officially endorsed by former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. GOP Reps.-elect Steve Womack (Ark.) and Kevin Yoder (Kan.) were both endorsed by Freedom Works – the interest group closely tied to the Tea Party movement. Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), elected in a special election in June 2010 and who won in the fall’s regular election, will also serve on the spending panel and is an outspoken proponent for fiscal restraint.

Republicans pledged that they would make significant cuts in spending over the next two years. The GOP Conference for the 112th Congress voted to ban earmark spending last month.

Democrats attacked the Republicans for selecting 15-term GOP Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.) to head the Appropriations panel last week. Rogers, a longtime champion of earmark spending, recently changed his tune to support the ban on earmark spending.

To read more, visit: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/133283-tea-party-backed-freshmen-win-plum-committee-assignments

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