GOP leaders settle on new House committee chairmen

GOP leaders settle on new House committee chair<@VM>GAO releases latest list of high-risk initiatives


With the shuffling of GOP House committee chairmanships complete, eight representatives remain as the second-ranking Republicans on panels they formerly led.

Four committees retained the same chairmen because the lawmakers have not reached the Republican leadership's self-imposed six-year term limit. The four are the Government Reform Committee's Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, the Agriculture Committee's Rep. Larry Combest of Texas, the Appropriations Committee's Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida and the Rules Committee's Rep. David Dreier of California.

More to do

Although House leaders have settled on the committee chairmanships, they still must work out subcommittee chairmanship changes.

In government systems circles, information technology officials are watching to see who will replace Rep. Steve Horn of California as the chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology.
Rep. Bob Stump of Arizona took over the Armed Services Committee, with the No. 2 spot being taken by the former chairman, Rep. Floyd Spence of South Carolina.

Stump stepped down to the No. 2 slot on the Veteran's Affairs Committee, and Rep. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey took the helm.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin heads the Judiciary Committee, with the former chairman, Rep. Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, remaining on the panel. Hyde took over the International Relations Committee.

Sensenbrenner took the No. 2 seat on the Science Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert of New York.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska became chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The former chairman, Rep. Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania, will take the second seat.

Young took the second seat on the Resources Committee and ceded the chairmanship to Rep. James V. Hansen of Utah.

Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa moved to the second chair of the Financial Services Committee; Rep. Michael G. Oxley of Ohio became chairman.

Some committee chairmanships changed outright:

' Rep. William M. Thomas of California took over the Ways and Means Committee from Rep. Bill Archer of Texas.

' Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio replaced Rep. William F. Goodling of Pennsylvania on the Education and Workforce Committee.

' Rep. W.J. 'Billy' Tauzin of Louisiana took over the Commerce Committee chairmanship from Rep. Thomas J. Bliley Jr. of Virginia.

' On the Budget Committee, Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa replaced Rep. John R. Kasich of Ohio.

' On the Small Business Committee, Rep. Donald Manzullo of Illinois succeeded Rep. James Talent of Missouri as chairman.

The General Accounting Office last week added personnel management to its list of high-risk challenges facing the government.

Up to one-third of the government's current work force is expected to retire within five years, comptroller general David M. Walker said. The retirements compound efforts to fill vacant high-tech jobs. The shortage is already affecting the ability of some agencies to serve the public, he said.

Walker made his statements at a Capitol Hill press conference, where he released GAO's biyearly update of initiatives it deems as crucial yet at risk of failure.

GAO dropped five projects from the list: the year 2000 effort, the 2000 Census, the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Program, the Agriculture Department's farm loan programs and the National Weather Service's modernization.
Information security, the Federal Aviation Administration's modernization and systems upgrades at the Defense Department and the IRS stayed on the high-risk roll.

'Tony Lee Orr


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