Texas Republicans to chair key new majority committees in US House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — This week, four Texas Republicans secured positions as committee chairs of the US House of Representatives, which they will use over the next two years to conduct high-profile investigations, shape legislation on key issues, and set the agenda for the Republican Party.

Not every member of Texas was able to get the positions they were looking for.

Republican Dan Crenshaw made an unsuccessful bid to chair the Homeland Security Committee, losing to House Liberty conservative Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee.

Texans who will run the committees in the 118th:

The longtime Fort Worth congresswoman has taken on one of the most powerful positions on Capitol Hill, chairing a committee with direct control of federal purses.

Granger will become the fourth Texan and the first Republican from the state to chair the committee charged with setting national spending priorities. It is also a position that provides a unique opportunity to keep an eye on the participant’s home area.

George H. Mahon was the last Texan to chair the committee from 1964 to 1979. This session also marks the first time all of the leading Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate appropriations committees will be women.

Granger’s job is complicated both by her extremely small Republican majority and by the fact that her most conservative colleagues are set to fight aggressively on sensitive issues from immigration to abortion.

The Democratic-controlled Senate can ignore any individual bills passed by the House on these and other topics, so members on the right are looking to score their points with mandatory annual appropriation bills.

Among the concessions some conservatives are demanding in exchange for supporting Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Cal., as speaker last week: more open debate that allows any member to propose amendments during debates on annual spending bills.

They also pushed for federal spending to be capped at last year’s levels, which some fear could lead to significant cuts at the Pentagon. During a brief interview, Granger downplayed the impact of these concessions on the committee, saying they left her free to act.

But she also issued a statement warning anyone who might try to cut the military budget.

“There have been reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives are supporting cuts to our national defense,” Grainger said. “Let me be clear: this Republican in the House of Representatives does not support this position.”

The Austin congressman has spoken of the need for a tough US foreign policy to counter the global ambitions of China and Russia, but he will also have to compete with peers who are more focused on domestic priorities.

In particular, some members of the Freedom Caucus objected to the amount of money flowing into Ukraine to fight Russia.

McCall offered strong support to Ukraine and said Dallas Morning News before the midterm elections that he does not understand the opposition to the continuation of military assistance.

“I grew up during the Cold War and thought it was good to kill Russians,” McCall said at the time.

McCall has since acknowledged right-wing members’ demands for greater accountability and transparency when it comes to aid, telling ABC. This week that there will be no “carte blanche” for Ukraine.

“These are American taxpayer dollars,” he said. “Does this weaken our will to help the Ukrainian people fight? No. But we’re going to do it responsibly.”

The budget committee is tasked with drawing up a plan for how the federal government raises and spends its money. When the majority party controls both sides of the Capitol and the White House, the position of chief budget officer has even more power because it can be used to advance proposals based on party lines.

But even in the current divided government, the committee plays a key role in managing federal spending, and some rule concessions should strengthen its position.

In his statement, Arrington indicated that he would focus on cutting federal spending, given that the national debt had topped $31 trillion.

“In the words of James Madison, ‘the public debt is a public curse,’ and that curse hangs heavily over the heads of our children and looms over the horizon of our country,” Arrington said.

The Weatherford dealership owner from Willow Park said in an interview that the job was right for him.

“I still have a business. I still pay my salary. So that’s perfect for us,” Williams said. “We want to do this, and we want to really promote great things in America. The profit is good. The opportunity is good. Competition is good. Risk and reward are good. Starting a small business is good. Less government regulation is good. It allows the main street to breathe.”

He predicted that it would be difficult for Democrats to resist this kind of proposal coming from his committee and said there was too much class rhetoric demonizing those who work for profit.

“We’re going to be a happy committee, we’re not going to be an angry committee,” Williams said.

He suggested that the group hold hearings at the border on how the situation there affects small businesses, or travel to any city in America to highlight the need for public safety.

“If you have a business and your business is broken into every night and your inventory is stolen, what kind of business is that?”

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