Senate panel names appropriations 'cardinals'

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday ratified the 13 subcommittee "cardinals" for the next two years, with Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., as expected, taking the choice prize as the leader of the newly created Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Cochran, who is the second-ranking Republican on the full committee, will assume the higher-profile post after vacating his chairmanship of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which will now be headed by Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah.

Because many transportation agencies and a few White House functions were folded into the new Homeland Security Subcommittee, Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, like House Appropriations Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla., decided to merge two previous subcommittees into a new Transportation, Treasury and General Government Subcommittee, which will be headed by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. But doing so meant that Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., who previously headed the Treasury-General Government Subcommittee, was forced to take a lesser spot, as chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, which Bennett used to head.

Meanwhile, the rest of the subcommittee cardinals are: Labor-HHS: Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; Military Construction: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; VA-HUD: Sen. Christopher (Kit) Bond, R-Mo.; Commerce-Justice-State: Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; Defense: Stevens; Foreign Operations: Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Interior: Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.; Energy and Water: Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.; and District of Columbia: Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.