House GOP list to chair panels is all-male

Posted: November 28, 2012

WASHINGTON - Top House Republicans announced their recommendations Tuesday for the new Congress' committee chairmanships, an all-male list that includes returning Paul Ryan to the Budget panel and seven new faces to head other committees.

The leaders proposed waiving the GOP's six-year term limit for Ryan (R., Wis.) to keep his chairmanship.

Several other long-term committee chairs would be replaced, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who has led the Foreign Affairs Committee. Instead, the leaders recommended Rep. Ed Royce of California.

Asked about the lack of women among the leaders' recommendations to head committees, Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, noted that three women have been selected to the party's leadership for next year. They include Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Washington, who will be the No. 4 House GOP leader.

Ros-Lehtinen said she did not request an exemption from the six-year term limit, saying Ryan was an exception because "he was our vice presidential candidate." As for the lack of women, she noted that Boehner had yet to pick chairs for two panels - the Ethics and House Administration Committees - and said, "Don't write the headline yet."

Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, who had been hoping to become chair of the Homeland Security Committee, issued a statement congratulating Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, whom the leaders proposed to take over the panel from Rep. Peter King of New York.

Among other changes, Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, west of Harrisburg, would head the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, now headed by Rep. John Mica of Florida.Another notable change was Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, a member of the GOP leadership who would replace Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama atop the House Financial Services Committee.

The recommendations are made by the 34-member House Republican Steering Committee, which consists of Boehner, other GOP leaders, some committee chairs, and other lawmakers representing geographic regions and the freshmen and sophomore classes of House Republicans.

The leaders' recommendations are scheduled to be voted Wednesday by all House Republicans.

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