South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy was selected by the Republican Steering Committee on Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in announcing the decision, lauded Gowdy’s “deep commitment to transparency and accountability.” The selection will be ratified by the full GOP conference on Tuesday.
Only one other member of the panel, Rep. Steve Russell, expressed an interest in being the panel’s next gavel-holder. The Oklahoma Republican told reporters after leaving the meeting in the Capitol basement that he sought the seat because he wanted to address duplicity in government.
Gowdy ranks ninth on the committee in seniority while Russell is 19th.
“Trey has my absolute confidence, and I know he will do an outstanding job,” Ryan said in a statement, before thanking Russell for putting his name forward.
Gowdy had been seen as a favorite to replace current Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who announced in April he would not be seeking re-election to his congressional seat. The Utah Republican is leaving Congress on June 30.
If elected by the full conference, Gowdy would take Chaffetz’s place when the decision is read on the House floor.
The South Carolina Republican said in a statement that he was grateful for the opportunity to serve. The Oversight panel has jurisdiction over the executive branch and the District of Columbia.
Gowdy even got a vote of confidence from Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s delegate to Congress. Norton has engaged with leaders of the committee on matters related to the District ranging from budget autonomy to planning and zoning. She enjoyed a fairly productive relationship with California Republican Darrell Issa, who chaired the panel from 2011 to 2015.
“Trey Gowdy has been an open-minded and fair member when it comes to D.C. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss areas that we can work together during this Congress,” Norton said in a statement.
The Oversight role could leave Gowdy in a sticky situation as he and its Republican members will be tasked with investigating an administration of their own political party.
The South Carolina Republican, a former federal prosecutor, made a name for himself nationally when he led the House committee that investigated the 2012 Benghazi attack while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.
Jason Dick contributed to this story.