McKeon Wins Armed Services Ranking Member Job

Posted June 9, 2009 at 2:02pm

The House Republican Steering Committee voted Tuesday to appoint Rep. Howard McKeon (Calif.) to succeed Rep. John McHugh (N.Y.) as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, Republican sources have confirmed. In giving the job to McKeon, the Steering panel passed over committee members Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), the second-most-senior Armed Services member, and Rep. Mac Thornberry (Texas), the panel’s fourth in line. The committee’s decision also opens up McKeon’s position as ranking member on the Education and Labor Committee.Tuesday’s vote ends an intense week of lobbying by McKeon, Bartlett and Thornberry that began shortly after the Obama administration announced McHugh’s nomination to become the secretary of the Army on June 2. McHugh stepped down from the committee the day after his nomination was announced. The vote occurred behind closed doors, where the three candidates gave presentations.McKeon has served on education-related committees since he arrived in Congress in 1993. He joined what would later become the Armed Service Committee in the 104th Congress. McKeon spokeswoman Lindsey Mask told Roll Call last week that the California lawmaker has championed providing the military with the armed defense resources it needs.