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Posted at 1:18 PM ET, 12/10/2010

New Reps. Griffith, Hurt snag key panel slots

By Ben Pershing

Two of Virginia's new members of Congress have snagged seats on key committees.

The House Republican Steering Committee met this week to assign lawmakers to "A" committees -- the panels that are considered so powerful that their members are only allowed to sit on one committee apiece -- and Republican Reps.-elect Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt each earned a spot.

Griffith, who beat Rep. Rick Boucher (D) in the 9th district, was assigned to the Energy and Commerce Committee. That panel, on which Boucher has served for many years, makes policies vital to southwest Virginia's coal industry, and also has say over telecommunications and technology issues. It is relatively rare for freshman lawmakers to win a seat on Energy and Commerce.

Hurt, the victor over Rep. Tom Perriello (D) in the 5th district, was handed a seat on the Financial Services Committee. No Virginia lawmakers from either party currently sit on that panel, which has wide jurisdiction over banking and monetary policy.

In addition to having significant legislative clout, both Energy and Commerce and Financial Services provide strong fundraising perches for their members.

The third new member of the Virginia delegation, Rep.-elect Scott Rigell (R), did not receive an "A" committee assignment and so won't know what seats he'll get until next week. Given the huge military presence in the Hampton Roads-based 2nd district, Rigell most covets -- and is expected to get -- a seat on the Armed Services Committee.

By Ben Pershing  | December 10, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Glenn Nye, Morgan Griffith, Rick Boucher, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Tom Perriello  
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