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Policy Change

With Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) now heading a beefed-up, permanent Homeland Security Committee, Rep. John Shadegg (Ariz.) is ready to succeed Cox as Republican Policy Committee chairman. [IMGCAP(1)]

Though Shadegg appears to be the only candidate for the position, he is not taking any chances. Last week, he circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter and received the signatures of 127 GOP colleagues who support his bid.

“Nothing is certain until the voting is done, but we’re hopeful at this point,” said Shadegg spokesman Mike Steel.

A Republican Conference vote on filling the Policy post is slated for Jan. 26.

Bulging Treasuries. Departing Members of Congress have close to $12 million left over in their campaign and PAC accounts, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which surveyed the lawmakers’ war chests.

As of Nov. 22, defeated Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) had $883,948 in campaign funds and $190,616 in PAC funds. At the end of September, former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) had $814,187 in campaign funds and $2,861 in leftover PAC fund.

Ex-Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) had $640,559 on hand, while former Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) had $452,683 in campaign funds and $17,935 in a PAC fund.

Silver State Statuesque. The Capitol’s Statuary Hall collection will soon receive its 99th statue.

Nevada lawmakers introduced a concurrent resolution Jan. 4 to add a sculpture of Piute indian Sarah Winnemucca to the Capitol gallery.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R), Reps. Jim Gibbons (R), Shelley Berkley (D) and Jon Porter (R) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) wrote that “Winnemucca was a tireless advocate for Native Americans, a dedicated teacher, and a noted author and speaker.”

No date has been set for the statue’s delivery, but a Gibbons aide said the sculpture by artist Benjamin Victor is expected to arrive in spring 2005.

Each state is allowed to donate two statues to the Statuary Hall collection. With Nevada’s on the way, the only state yet to fill its allotment is New Mexico.

Mass Transit. The House Administration Committee has increased the maximum transit benefit for staffers to $105, a slight bump above the $100 limit set in March 2003.

House Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen noted that unless staffers require additional funds, they will not qualify for the increased transit subsidy.

“Staff cannot request transit benefits in amounts greater than their actual commuting costs,” Eagen wrote. “For example, if it costs you $75 per month to commute, you can only request transit benefits up to $75.”

— Ben Pershing, Amy Keller and Jennifer Yachnin

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