The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the structure and operations of the executive branch, officially elected Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., as its new chairman today.
Thompson said he would make regulatory reform a priority of the committee in the coming weeks. He will also be handling an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations during last year's presidential campaign.
Thompson said he intends to strengthen the committee's traditional oversight role. "The committee in 1997 will continue to work to make government more accountable and efficient," he said. "As government grows smaller, it is even more important that it work effectively so that people who depend on it will be better served."
Majority members of the committee include William V. Roth, R-Del.; Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Susan Collins, R-Me., Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Pete Domenici, R-N.M.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Don Nickles, R-Okla.; and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
Minority members include John Glenn, D-Ohio (ranking); Carl Levin, D-Mich.; Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.; Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; Max Cleland, D-Ga.; Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; and Robert Toricelli, D-N.J.
Committee spokesman Paul Clark said subcommittee chairs and membership will be announced within a few weeks.