Rogers, Upton tapped to chair House committees
Updated 7:29 p.m.
The House Republican Steering Committee selected Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on Tuesday as the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, while Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) will be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The two were among the slate of new committee chairs elected by the 34-member committee, according to House GOP aides. The full House Republican Conference is slated to vote Wednesday on whether to ratify the panel's recommendations, a step that is largely a formality.
Rogers bested Reps. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) to win the appropriations spot. Kingston had been a favorite of tea party groups but signaled Monday that he had not won the support of GOP leaders.
Upton, meanwhile, won out over Reps. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) for the energy committee chairmanship. Barton and Lewis would have required term-limit waivers from the House GOP leadership in order to sit atop the committees.
House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the incoming chairmen for committing to "helping small businesses create jobs, cutting spending, repealing the job-killing health care law, protecting life, and reforming the way Congress works."
"Like the incoming majority as a whole, this slate should and will be judged on its effectiveness in restoring a government worthy of the trust of the people it serves -- one that honors our Constitution and stands up for the values that built a great nation: economic freedom, individual liberty, and personal responsibility," Boehner said.
Rogers said in a statement, "I am humbled and thrilled with the Steering Committee's decision, and look forward to the honor and responsibility of leading the Appropriations Committee next year if the full GOP Conference approves the recommendation tomorrow. There is no doubt that we have a tough and demanding chore ahead of us."
He added that his goals include "fighting for serious reforms of the committee, bringing fiscal sanity back to our budgeting process, performing vigorous oversight of the failed job-creation policies of the Obama administration and moving our nation forward."
Last week, those who sought the committees' top spots huddled in a basement room in the Capitol Visitors Center to make their case to steering committee members.
Democrats are slated to choose their ranking members for committees on Thursday.
| December 7, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
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