Ways, Means and Maneuverings

Rep. Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.), who would have been term-limited out of his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee at the end of this Congress, announced last week he is retiring (see "The Gizz-ette" blog).

Three Republican members are already maneuvering to succeed him: Clay Shaw (Fla.), Jim McCrery (La.), and liberal Nancy Johnson (Conn.). Assuming Republicans maintain their House majority, a closed-door meeting of the House GOP Steering Committee (in which the speaker and majority leader have weighted votes) will pick the new chairman after the new Congress is sworn in.