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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 11/22/2010

Chaffetz to stay with Oversight Committee

By Ed O'Keefe
Jason Chaffetz
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a rising star among Congressional Republicans, plans to stay with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when the new Congress begins in the new year.

Chaffetz won his second term in November and is openly contemplating a primary challenge against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in 2012. He confirmed over the weekend that he will stay with the committee responsible for overseeing government operations, the federal workforce, the U.S. Postal Service and the District of Columbia. (All topics within the scope of The Federal Eye.)

"I like the committee and the work we are doing," Chaffetz said in response to an e-mail from The Eye. Plus, "By staying with [the committee], I can also stay with [the] Judiciary and Natural Resources [committees]," he said.

He's currently the ranking member on the Oversight committee's subcommittee on the federal workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia, but said he's unsure how the subcommittee will be divided next year.

The panel's presumptive chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is expected to announce those decisions next month, aides said.

House GOP leadership and members of the House Appropriations Committee tried wooing Chaffetz to the more high-profile panel in an effort to stack it with budget-conscious lawmakers, but he demurred.

Chaffetz was one of three lawmakers last week to vote against a House resolution congratulating Penn State Coach Joe Paterno on his 400th career win. The congressman routinely votes against what he considers frivolous resolutions. A Salt Lake City columnist noted that Chaffetz was a place-kicker for the Brigham Young University Cougars during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. Paterno's Nittany Lions beat the Cougars 50 to 39 in the 1989 Holiday Bowl, even though Chaffetz kicked two successful field goals for BYU during the game.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | November 22, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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