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When heading to polls, it's something to remember


Democratic Win in November Would Move House Committees to Far Left

When heading to polls, it’s something to remember

When voters go the polls this November, they should remember who will take charge of the major committees in the House if the Democrats win a majority. Under Republicans, House committees have been chaired by moderates or conservatives, and often a chairman who is generally moderate (such as Homeland Security Chairman Peter King of New York) is in fact a conservative when it comes to the area for which his committee is responsible.

Even if Republicans retain the majority, three chairmanships will change hands because Representatives Jim Nussle (R.-Iowa.), Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) and Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.) are retiring. But in a Republican House, those chairmen are likely to be replaced by members at least as conservative as they are. If Democrats take control of the House, the chairmanship of every major committee will lurch to the left.


Current Chairman

Rep. Jerry Lewis (R.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 83%
2005 NTU Rating: C (53%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. David Obey (D.-Wis.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 10%
2005 NTU Rating: F (16%)

As reflected by his grade of "F" from the National Taxpayers Union, Obey is a classic big-spending Democrat. Voted last year against both the conservative alternative budget that called for $58 billion in cuts in mandatory spending and the final House Budget Resolution that held discretionary spending to $843 billion and made room for $70 billion in tax cuts. Would like to use tax dollars to fund congressional campaigns.

Education and Workforce

Current Chairman

Rep. Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 90%
2005 NTU Rating: C+ (54%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. George Miller (D.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 5%
2005 NTU Rating: F (17%)

Bay Area liberal who formed coalition with President Bush to enact the No Child Left Behind Act — but would support the bill only if it did not include vouchers. Since then, even though federal education spending has more than doubled, Miller relentlessly criticizes Bush for not spending more on schools. "This budget is a wasteland littered with the President’s broken IOUs to America’s schoolchildren and college students," he said of the President’s latest education budget.

Energy and Commerce

Current Chairman

Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 94%
2005 ACU Rating: B+ (69%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

John Dingell (D.-Mich.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 12%
2005 NTU Rating: F (16%)

Dingell would be an anti-energy Energy chairman, driving up costs for American consumers. Opposed drilling in ANWR and favored raising the CAFE standards. Voted to maintain moratorium on offshore drilling for natural gas. Voted against proposal to lower gas prices by waiving Clean Air Act-mandated fuel additive requirements during times of heavy gasoline usage.

Government Reform

Current Chairman

Rep. Tom Davis (R.-Va.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 71%
2005 NTU Rating: C- (49%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. Henry Waxman ( D.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 5%
2005 NTU Rating: F (15%)

Hyper-liberal congressman from Hollywood. In 1990s, he worked to protect the Clinton Administration from the committee’s investigations of corruption. When Clinton left office, Waxman reversed course, demanding investigations of the Bush Administration. Nonetheless, he objected to the committee’s probe of former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, who eventually pleaded guilty to stealing classified documents from the National Archives. Under his leadership, this committee would launch multiple investigations of the Bush Administration.

Homeland Security

Current Chairman

Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 77%
2005 NTU Rating: C (52%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D.-Miss.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 10%
2005 NTU Rating: F (13%)

Has opposed most major homeland security initiatives since 9/11. Worked to keep gas prices high by keeping U.S. dependent on foreign oil. Voted against drilling in ANWR and against easing rules for building new oil refineries. Voted to require congressional approval before President Bush could abrogate ABM Treaty. Voted against Patriot Act and tough House border-security bill. Called the latter "a gift from an extremist Grinch, rather than one from Santa Claus." As chairman, would play Santa Claus to illegal aliens.

International Relations

Current Chairman

Rep. Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 85%
2005 NTU Rating: C+ (54%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. Tom Lantos (D.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 8%
2005 NTU Rating: F (11%)

When President Reagan was rebuilding U.S. military might to counter the massive arms buildup of the Soviet Union, Lantos pushed for a nuclear freeze and defunding the Nicaraguan Contras. A nuclear freeze, Lantos said, was "the most pragmatic, hard-headed, down-to-earth stand we can take to move away from this suicidal nuclear arms race." More recently he has supported the International Criminal Court and opposed President Bush’s abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.


Current Chairman

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R.-Wis.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 88%
2005 NTU Rating: A (76%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 5%
2005 NTU Rating: F (23%)

Did everything he could to obstruct the impeachment of President Clinton. Now, he is calling for an impeachment investigation of President Bush. Conyers’ staff has already produced a report outlining what they say are charges against Bush that "clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct," blaming the GOP Congress for blocking a further investigation, and recommending an actual impeachment inquiry. If Conyers becomes chairman, Bush will face an impeachment inquiry next year.


Current Chairman

Rep. Richard Pombo (R.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 97%
2005 NTU Rating: B- (59%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. Nick Rahall (D.-W.Va.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 21%
2005 NTU Rating: F (19%)

Was wrong on every major piece of legislation last year that affected the environment or property rights. Voted against ANWR drilling, against lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling for natural gas, and against easing the rules for building new oil refineries. Voted to raise CAFE standards. Voted against stopping federal funds from being used in eminent domain proceedings where private land is seized and handed over to a private developers. Voted against reforming the Endangered Species Act so landowners would be compensated when development of their property is shut down by the act.

Ways and Means

Current Chairman

Rep. Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 80%
2005 NTU Rating: C+ (55%)

Chairman If Democrats Win Majority in House

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.)
Lifetime ACU Rating: 4%
2005 NTU Rating: F (15%)

Has opposed major income-tax cuts ever since he was elected in 1970. Voted against the historic Reagan tax cut of 1981. Voted against each of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Meanwhile, he voted for President Clinton’s record-setting tax increase in 1993. If Rangel becomes chairman, he is certain to preside over new tax increases — at a minimum allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire without being renewed.

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