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McKeon Shifts HASC Subcommittee Chairs Amid Departures

Dec. 13, 2012 - 06:01PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
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With several subcommittee heads leaving Congress, several House Armed Services Committee (HASC) issue-specific subpanels are getting new leaders.

HASC Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., announced his picks for GOP subcommittee chairmen who will take the gavels of their panels when the new Congress is seated in January.

“I selected these members to be subcommittee chairmen for their long service on the Armed Services Committee and their dedication to our men and women in uniform,” McKeon said in a statement.

“In the years ahead, this committee must ensure our troops and their families have what they need to face increasing dangers abroad in an era of declining resources at home. That tension between threats and resources will present our subcommittees with difficult choices, but I am confident in the leadership of our chairmen,” McKeon said.

His picks elevate several up-and-coming House lawmakers to more prominent positions on the Armed Services Committee.

One example is Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who has been the Strategic Forces subcommittee chairman. Turner will move into the top seat on the influential Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee. There, he will replace departing veteran chairman Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

“The new subcommittee leadership role makes Turner responsible for oversight of a broad portfolio of Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force acquisition programs,” Turner’s office said in a statement. “This is key to such Ohio military facilities as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Lima Tank Plant, as well as Army and Air National Guard Bases.”

Turner pointed to possible new defense cuts, saying the Tactical Air and Land Forces panel chairmanship “places me in a role to continue my strong advocacy for the men and women at Wright-Patt, the Lima Tank Plant, and a number of other facilities which preserve the safety and security of our nation.”

Turner is one of the most fiery members of the panel, engaging several times this year in heated verbal battles with Obama administration officials.

Replacing Turner on the strategic panel will be Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.

With Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee chairman, leaving Congress after an unsuccessful Senate bid, Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia will take that post.

Full committee Vice Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas will retain that role, and also his Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee chairmanship.

Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina will again serve as the top member on the Military Personnel subcommittee, while Rep. Rob Wittman will replace Forbes as chairman of the Readiness subcommittee. McKeon said a chairman for the panel’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee will be named later.

Rep. Adam Smith, HASC’s top Democrat, has yet to announce which members will serve as the ranking members of each subcommittee.

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