Nov 3, 2010
01:11 PMThe Wind Machine
Elections 2010: The House
The 112th Congress will convene in January, 2011, with a solid Republican majority in the House of Representatives. John Boehner of Ohio will likely be the new Speaker, replacing Nancy Pelosi of California.
Yesterday’s national election brought few changes to the make-up of the sixteen member delegation serving in the House from the Pacific Northwest. In Idaho conservative Walt Minneck (D) lost to Raul Labrador (R). In Washington, Jaime Herrera (R) picked up the open seat in the 3rd District created by the retiring Brain Baird (D). Rick Larsen (D) is in a tight race to retain his 2nd District seat. John Koster may yet beat Mr. Larsen. No changes in Oregon.
In the 112th, greater political power will flow to Doc Hastings (R/WA) who is set to become chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and to Greg Walden (R/OR) who was named today by Mr. Boehner to lead a new committee in charge of managing the Republican transition to power. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R/WA) may also be elevated in party leadership come next year.
From a wider angle view, it is the earthquake change in the chairmanships of House committees that will rechannel or dam the flow of future federal legislation. For example, the list of Democrats who no longer will be committee chairman includes George Miller (CA) of Education and Labor; Collin Peterson (MN) of Agriculture; John Spratt (SC) (who was defeated for reelection) of Budget; Henry Waxman (CA) of Energy and Commerce; John Conyers (MI) of Judiciary; Sandy Levin (MI) of Ways and Means; and David Obey (MI) (who did not run for reelection) of Appropriations.
The new conservative majority in the House of Representatives will likely focus on budgetary discipline and reigning in the Obama Administration’s expansive expressions of federal power.