Boehner: Prepare to Be Disappointed on Assignments

Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:29am

Correction Appended

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told members of the House Republican Conference that many would be disappointed with their committee assignments because there were so few positions on top committees this year, according to sources who attended the Wednesday morning meeting.

The Members who will likely be let down when the Republican Steering Committee meets this afternoon have sought spots on the Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Financial Services, or Appropriations committees. Because of the electoral losses in November, committee ratios have been reduced, creating tough decisions for the steering panel.

Merit, seniority and fundraising all play a part in determining where a Member is placed, but if a committee has ample regional representation, it can be hard for a lawmaker from the same region to gain a seat, no matter what his contributions to the Republican Conference.

Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.), who had been seen as likely to get a seat on the Energy and Commerce panel, is now expected to not get that slot, allowing another colleague to take the position, according to a source familiar with his decision. Barrett currently serves on Financial Services and is widely viewed as a likely candidate for governor in 2010.

Correction: Jan. 7, 2009

The article mistakenly stated that Barrett has announced he will retire at the end of the 111th Congress.