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GOP Steering panel postpones meeting to fill Appropriations seat

Three-way contest on hold at least until after shutdown showdown

Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., is among those in contention for prized committee assignment.
Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., is among those in contention for prized committee assignment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House GOP panel responsible for committee assignments indefinitely delayed its planned Monday meeting to fill the party’s open seat on the Appropriations Committee following the Friday resignation of former Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, sources familiar with the situation said. 

The decision comes as House Republicans are struggling among themselves to unify on a temporary spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown starting Oct. 1. The House Republican Steering Committee isn’t expected to meet until at least after that deadline is past.

The Steering panel was expected to pick between three freshmen — Oregon’s Lori Chavez-DeRemer, New York’s Nick LaLota and North Carolina’s Chuck Edwards — to fill Stewart’s seat. The full GOP conference would next need to ratify the decision, but that’s typically just a formality.

Chavez-DeRemer would become the first representative from Oregon to serve on the committee since 1993. A former mayor, Chavez-DeRemer won her suburban Portland district by 2 percentage points in a seat previously held by a Democrat. Her 2024 race is rated as a Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. 

[Jockeying for Rep. Stewart’s Appropriations seat in full swing]

LaLota is also making a regional argument for the seat, as there are no New York Republicans on the committee. The last New York Republican to serve on the committee was James T. Walsh, who retired in 2009. LaLota’s race for his eastern Long Island district is rated Lean Republican. 

Edwards served on the Appropriations Committee in the North Carolina Senate, and received the support from influential Republican members of his state’s delegation for his bid. North Carolina also has no representation on the committee, with former Democratic Rep. David E. Price retiring after the last Congress. 

Stewart was first elected in 2012, and resigned from the House due to his wife’s health concerns. Celeste Maloy, a former Stewart aide, won the Republican primary to replace him in the House and is the favorite to win the Nov. 21 special election to fill the seat. 

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