Meet the House Republicans who will be in power in the new Congress
WASHINGTON — Republicans may have won control of the House by a very small margin, but in a purely majority-based chamber, their razor-thin edge has given them all the tools they need to run the Biden administration to plunge into a morass of investigations.
The Republicans, who chair influential House committees, wield gavels and subpoena powers and have promised to impeach the president on a slew of issues, including his son Hunter’s foreign affairs, southern border security, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Justice Department’s initiative to counter threats of violence and harassment aimed at school administrators and school board members.
At the same time, they are being called upon by their conservative base – and an influential group of hardliners in Congress – to impeach a phalanx of officials, from Mr. Biden himself to the vice president and cabinet secretaries.
And at least some of them need to find a way to get legislation — at least government funding bills — that can make it through the Democrat-led Senate and get signed by Mr. Biden.
While House Republicans made modest progress in diversification this year, their higher ranks reflect the predominantly white, male composition of their conference. The party is on track to run no committees of color — a notable shift from House Democrats, which have six black lawmakers, two Latino lawmakers and one Asian-American in those posts. Republicans will also only have two or three women at the top of committees, fewer than the seven Democratic women who now hold gavels.
Here’s a look at some of the key players.
Representative Kay Granger from Texas
Fort Worth’s first female mayor and 13-year-old congresswoman is on track to become the first Republican woman to take the helm of the powerful Appropriations Committee, which controls federal spending.
It will fall to her to steer a dozen funding bills through the House of Representatives in the face of opposition from anti-spending Republicans, which will most likely involve negotiations with Democrats to gain the necessary votes and avoid a presidential veto.
While Ms. Granger has at times opposed short-term spending legislation under the Biden administration, she has repeatedly advocated increases in military spending and investment in the F-35 fighter jets being built in her district.
Mike D Rogers of Alabama
The deeply conservative 11-term congressman is on the verge of becoming chair of the body, which has historically operated bipartisanally.
Mr. Rogers, one of the key architects in the Space Force Congress, has urged the Biden administration to increase military spending. As committee chair, he will be responsible for ensuring the passage of the annual Defense Act, which guides military policy and outlines the Pentagon budget each year.
energy and trade
Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington
The former chair of the House of Representatives Republican Conference is set to become the first woman to head the panel, one of three major investigative committees in the chamber.
A new US Congress is taking shape
After the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans flipped the House of Representatives.
Ms McMorris Rodgers has pledged to use her seat to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, including bringing about Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the President’s chief medical adviser and a favorite Republican target, before their panel. Supervision of the actions of Dr. fauci, she said“will continue after his departure and until the American people have the answers they need.”
She’s also hinted that she’ll be getting involved with TikTok, having recently teamed up with Rep. James R. Comer, the Kentucky Republican who will likely chair the oversight committee, to write a letter to the social media company , raising concerns that it has provided misleading information to Congress about its data sharing and privacy practices with the Chinese government.
Michael T McCaul of Texas
A former federal prosecutor is poised to chair the panel expected to lead an inquiry into the Biden administration’s handling of the hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan. The investigation will likely focus on pre-evacuation planning, botched efforts to evacuate Afghan interpreters and contractors who helped the US government, and the aftermath of the pullout.
Mr McCaul, a longtime China hawk, said his top priority is helping the United States counter a surging Beijing, including tightening export controls of sensitive military technology and boosting arms sales to Taiwan.
Mr McCaul has been a vocal supporter of military aid to Ukraine and suggested he could use his gavel to counter the growing tide of anti-interventionist voices in his party clamoring for aid to be reduced or stopped altogether. He has said his panel will exercise more scrutiny over where aid goes.
Jim Jordan from Ohio
Few Republicans are likely to play a bigger role in the new Congress than the founding chairman of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus and seven-year congressman-turned-judiciary committee chairman.
An ally of former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Jordan has gone from being a potential opponent of California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to a supporter of Mr. McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker.
James R Comer of Kentucky
The former Kentucky legislator and commissioner of agriculture, who has served in Congress for six years, has been eagerly awaiting his chance to lead a wide range of investigations with the subpoena power that comes with Republican control of the House of Representatives.
Mr Comer said he received the contents of a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the president’s son, whose business activities are the subject of federal investigations.
Mr. Comer and Mr. Jordan recently held a press conference on Capitol Hill detailing her plans to move the investigation’s focus beyond the younger Mr. Biden. “This is an investigation into Joe Biden,” Mr Comer said.
In addition to the Biden family’s dealings, Mr. Comer said his committee will examine the government’s handling of the southwest border, the origins of Covid-19, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and whether there is pandemic mismanagement, among other things – Aid funds have given other things.
“The American people want accountability in Washington, and Republicans stand ready to do it,” he said in a statement.
ways and means
Three Republicans compete to head the committee responsible for setting the country’s tax and trade policies.
Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, is trying to move to Ways and Means, where he could play a more prominent role in the debate on how to deal with the looming bankruptcy of programs like Social Security and Medicare. Mr Smith has vowed to oversee the Internal Revenue Service and draft tax and trade legislation that will strengthen the United States’ position vis-à-vis China, an adviser said.
Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan has also made it clear he wants the post, having chaired several subcommittees and demonstrated a productive fundraising ability on behalf of the House Republican campaign arm. Mr. Buchanan has emphasized his experience as a business owner and campaigned to make the Republican tax law of 2017 permanent.
Nebraska Rep. Adrian Smith is also running for the position, highlighting his political credentials and the work he has done on the committee since 2010. He also helped implement a bipartisan trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.
Representative Mark E. Green of Tennessee, a former Army Ranger medic who was part of the mission that captured Saddam Hussein, faces Representative Daniel Crenshaw of Texas, a former Navy SEAL officer, around the gavel. Whoever prevails will play a role in what leading Republicans have promised: an aggressive investigation and possible impeachment of Mr. Mayorkas and the administration’s border policies.
Both Mr. Green and Mr. Crenshaw are biennial congressmen who are deeply conservative and come from a military background. Mr. Green is a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, while Mr. Crenshaw is smashed with his party’s far-right flank.
Both have said they intend to hold the Biden administration accountable for the southern border immigration crisis and work to strengthen the administration’s approach to cybersecurity.
Stephanie Lai contributed reporting.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/25/us/politics/house-republicans-congress.html Meet the House Republicans who will be in power in the new Congress