As Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, they'll get the opportunity to run the various committees that create legislation and hold hearings. Over the next two years, a few of these will be particularly important. One standout is the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which will be chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and can be expected to make a lot of trouble for Democrats. But another truly vital committee will be the Financial Services. We learn today that it will be led by current Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL).
Phil Mattingly of Bloomberg has the scoop:
Bachus, the Alabama lawmaker who has been the panel's top minority member since 2007, was picked to become chairman by the Republican Steering Committee in a closed-door vote yesterday. Selections by the panel -- made up of House leaders, incoming committee chairmen and members representing different parts of the country -- are traditionally accepted by the full Republican conference, which is scheduled to vote today.
As he says, today's vote is just a formality. Bachus' competitor for the role was Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who has already congratulated Bachus on getting the nod.
This will signify a big shift for the committee. The ideological divide between its current Chairman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), and Bachus is very wide. According to Govtrack's bill sponsorship analysis, Bachus is a "far-right Republican," while Frank is a "far-left Democrat." The National Journal's 2009 vote ratings agree, ranking Frank as the 12th most liberal (418th most conservative) representative and Bachus as the 305th most liberal (126th most conservative).