House Leaders and Committee Chairmen
About half of the House committees could have new chairmen in 2013, even though Republicans remain in control of the chamber and few incumbents lost their seats. Between retirements and internal House GOP rules limiting the terms of chairmen, several committee chairmanships are up for grabs, including Financial Services, Judiciary, and Rules. An asterisk (*) denotes the current position-holder.
Prospective Party Leaders
Speaker: John Boehner, R-Ohio*
Majority Leader: Eric Cantor, R-Va.*
Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.*
Republican Conference Chairman: With Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, expected to give up his post to seek the Financial Services Committee chairmanship, ambitious House Republicans are vying to replace him. The two top candidates are Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., and Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. Both were elected in 2004. McMorris Rodgers is seen as a rising star, while Price has deep support within the conference’s conservative wing.
Republican Policy Committee Chairman: There will be a scramble to replace Price, who is leaving his post to run for Republican Conference chairman. The man most often mentioned for the job is freshman Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla.
Prospective Committee Chairmen
Agriculture: Frank Lucas, R-Okla.*
Appropriations: Harold Rogers, R-Ky.*
Armed Services: Buck McKeon, R-Calif.*
Budget: If Chairman Paul Ryan wants to keep the job, he will need a waiver because his term is limited by GOP conference rules. Leadership is expected to grant him one. But if not, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J. (next in line in terms of seniority), Price, and possibly even Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (a long shot) could look to snatch the gavel.
Education and the Workforce: John Kline, R-Minn.*
Energy and Commerce: Fred Upton, R-Mich.*
Ethics: Jo Bonner, R-Ala.*
Financial Services: Jeb Hensarling, the committee’s vice chairman, is expected to leapfrog more-senior colleagues who would like to assume the gavel from Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. Bachus is barred by term limits from remaining chairman.
Foreign Affairs: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is term limited, setting off a contest between two subcommittee chairmen: Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Chris Smith, R-N.J. Royce, vice chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, reportedly has the inside track. Ros-Lehtinen endorsed him in a letter to the party’s internal steering committee, which recommends potential leaders to the broader conference.
Homeland Security: Insiders think Candice Miller, R-Mich., has a leg up on Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas—both of whom have more committee seniority—to replace term-limited Steve King, R-Iowa.
House Administration: Dan Lungren, R-Calif.,* was locked in a race that was too close to call. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., is next in line for the gavel.
Judiciary: Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is the front-runner to succeed term-limited Lamar Smith, R-Texas.
Natural Resources: Doc Hastings, R-Wash.,* is interested in assuming the powerful Rules Committee chairmanship, which would mean Natural Resources would need a new leader. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is seen as the potential successor.
Oversight and Government Reform: Darrell Issa, R-Calif.*
Rules: NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, has been seen as the likely successor to retiring Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., but Hastings, a former committee member and former Ethics Committee chairman, is not ready to just hand the Texan the gavel.
Science and Technology: Ralph Hall, R-Texas, is term limited and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, are eyeing his perch.
Small Business: Sam Graves, R-Mo.*
Transportation and Infrastructure: Bill Shuster, R-Pa., is seen as the shoo-in to take over for term-limited John Mica, R-Fla.
Veterans’ Affairs: Jeff Miller, R-Fla.*
Ways and Means: Dave Camp, R-Mich.*
Permanent Select Intelligence: Mike Rogers, R-Mich.*
This article appeared in print as "House Leaders and Committee Chairmen."
This article appears in the November 10, 2012, edition of National Journal Magazine.