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The end of the old bulls

According to Politico, if the GOP takes the House, the party isn't going to decide committee chairmanship based on seniority:

If Republicans win the House, all but a few of of the two dozen GOP chairmen will be first-timers with the gavel, a strong sign that a new generation of Republican leadership has dawned, ushering in a slate of mostly conservative younger chairmen who will control debate on everything from tax cuts to a farm bill to business regulation.

It’ll be a stark contrast to the 2006 Democratic takeover, when Dave Obey of Wisconsin, George Miller of California and Michigan’s John Dingell and John Conyers reclaimed gavels they lost in the Republican rout of 1994.

In broad terms, the Republican chairmen will be policy conservatives but not bomb-throwing ideologues. ... Major new players in a new Republican Congress include 57-year-old Dave Camp of Michigan atop the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Budget wonk Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a 40-year-old who has become a hero to fiscal conservatives, will most likely rule over the Budget Committee. Oversight and Government Reform will have the fiery Darrell Issa of California dashing off subpoenas to the Obama administration.

On Appropriations, there might be a fight between Reps. Jerry Lewis of California and Hal Rogers of Kentucky over the coveted job of controlling the federal government’s purse strings. And on Energy and Commerce, a critical committee for carrying the Republican agenda on health care, energy and business regulation, Joe Barton of Texas is fighting for the gavel despite insider buzz that Michigan’s Fred Upton has the inside track.

By Ezra Klein  | October 28, 2010; 11:39 AM ET
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Good for them. Even though it will probably mean more hard-right conservatives in charge of policy, it's a good thing when parties select chairmen on merit and not just seniority. It's something I've been frustrated with regarding some of the Democratic House chairmen. Experience is a virtue, yes, but many of them are just so old that I worry they lack the energy and passion necessary for the job.

Posted by: vvf2 | October 28, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Ummm... Issa ("most corrupt president ever") and Barton (remember his BP statements?), I think, will be bomb throwers. And how many bomb throwers do you need to blow things up?

Posted by: golewso | October 28, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

At a beachside villa, Charles Rangel just dropped his mai tai...

Posted by: cdosquared5 | October 28, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This is one reason I won't mind seeing Harry Reid lose.

Posted by: lauren2010 | October 28, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Good. It's time to stop kidding ourselves that the 80+ set has enough energy and drive to do their jobs properly (I'd include the Supremes in this as well). They're so entrenched that in many cases they've forgotten whom they represent.

Posted by: Beagle1 | October 28, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love Politico: "all but a few of of the two dozen GOP chairmen will be first-timers with the gavel..." as compared to naming three Democrats were not first timers. Is a few more than 3? Sorry, a real reporter needs to do better than that.

Posted by: Hopeful9 | October 28, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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