Freshmen GOP Shake Up Senate Committees

The Senate Republican Conference announced on Thursday their Members’ committee assignments for the 112th Congress.

The 13 freshmen Republican senators were given their first committee assignments, highlighting their interests and the leadership’s priorities.

The changes are especially important for the key committees which will handle the hot button issues this Congress: government spending, deficit reduction, and health care.

The most telling additions are the six GOP freshmen added to the crucial Appropriations Committee, which determines all discretionary government spending. The new Republican committee members on Appropriations are: Roy Blunt (Mo.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), John Hoeven (N.D), and Ron Johnson (Wisc.).

The other committees which handle government spending and budget issues are well stocked with freshmen.  Pat Toomey (Penn.), Kirk, and Moran are the three new members to the Banking Committee. The Budget Committee has three freshmen, Portman, Toomey, and Johnson.  Also, Toomey and Lee (Utah) have joined the Joint Economic Committee.

The Small Business Committee has four GOP freshmen: Moran, Tea Party favorites Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), as well as new leadership member Kelly Ayotte (N.H.).

For the committees who will handle changes to ObamaCare, there are key freshmen placements. The Commerce Committee has five Republican freshmen: Boozman (Ark.), Blunt, Toomey, Rubio, and Ayotte. Paul and Kirk are the two new freshmen on the Health and Education Committee.

Other important committees which have been filled with a large number of freshmen:

The Aging Committee has four freshmen members: Kirk, Moran, Johnson, and Ayotte.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee has five GOP freshmen: Lee, Paul, Coats, Portman, and Hoeven.

The Homeland Security Committee has three freshmen: Johnson, Portman, and Paul.

The full list of Republican Senate committee assignments for the 112th Congress is below:

Appropriations:  Thad Cochran (Miss.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Kirk, Coats, Blunt, Moran, Hoeven, and Ron Johnson (Wisc.).

Armed Services: John McCain (Ariz.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Portman, Ayotte, Collins, Graham, John Cornyn (Texas), and David Vitter (La.)

Finance: Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Snowe, Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), John Ensign (Nev.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Cornyn, Tom Coburn (Okla.), and John Thune (S.D.)

Foreign Relations:  Richard Lugar (Ind.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), John Barrasso, (Wyo.), and Mike Lee (Utah).

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry: Chambliss, Lugar, Thad Cochran (Miss.), McConnell, Roberts, Mike Johanns (Neb.), John Boozman, Grassley, Thune, and Hoeven.

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs:  Richard Shelby (Ala.),  Crapo, Idaho
Bob Corker (Tenn), DeMint, Vitter, Johanns, Pat Toomey, Kirk, Jerry Moran, and Wicker.

Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Hutchison, Snowe, Ensign, DeMint, Thune, Wicker, Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Blunt, Boozman, Toomey, Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Ayotte.

Energy and Natural Resources: Murkowski, Richard Burr (N.C.), Barrasso, Jim Risch, (Idaho), Lee, Rand Paul (Ky.), Coats, Portman, Hoeven, and Corker.

Environment and Public Works: Inhofe, Vitter, Barrasso, Sessions, Crapo, Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Johanns, and Boozman.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Collins, Coburn, Scott Brown (Mass.), John McCain (Ariz.), Johnson, Ensign,  Portman, and Rand Paul.

Judiciary:  Sessions, Orrin Hatch (Utah), Grassley, Kyl, Graham, Cornyn, Lee, and Coburn.

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Alexander, Richard Burr (N.C.), Isakson, Paul, Hatch, McCain, Roberts, Murkowski, and Kirk.

Aging: Corker, Collins, Hatch, Kirk, Moran, Johnson, Ayotte, Shelby, Graham, and Chambliss.

Budget: Grassley, Enzi, Sessions, Crapo, Ensign, Cornyn, Graham, Thune, Portman, Toomey, and Johnson.

Ethics: Isakson, Roberts, and Risch. 

Indian Affairs: Barrasso, McCain, Murkowski, Hoeven, Crapo, and Johanns.

Intelligence: Chambliss, Snowe, Burr, Risch, Coats, Blunt, and Rubio.

Joint Economic Committee: DeMint, Coats, Lee, and Toomey.

Rules and Administration: McConnell, Cochran, Chambliss, Hutchison, Alexander, Roberts, Shelby, and Blunt.

Small Business: Snowe, Vitter, Risch, Rubio, Paul, Ayotte, Enzi, Brown, and Moran.

Veterans Affairs: Burr, Isakson, Wicker, Johanns, Brown, Moran, and Boozman.

The committee assignments will next be ratified by the whole Senate.