House oversight panel streamlines subcommittees

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. J. Scott Applewhite/AP File Photo

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is consolidating two of its subpanels, chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced Wednesday.

The new Subcommittee on Government Operations will combine most of the purview of the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management with that of the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., will chair the new panel. Mica previously served as the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, a position he had to relinquish due to term limits. He has been a strong proponent of selling off unneeded federal properties.

A Democratic Oversight and Government Reform Committee staffer told Government Executive the ranking member appointments will be forthcoming.

“The Republicans just announced these changes, and Democrats will officially announce their ranking members when they organize later this month,” the staffer said.

A congressional staffer predicted Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who served as ranking member of the technology subcommittee, will hold that position on the new panel.

The reorganization reduces the number of subcommittees from seven to five. A temporary subcommittee to oversee emergency government loans to private and public companies has been eliminated, as has the regulatory affairs subcommittee’s oversight of stimulus funds.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, will serve as chairman of the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census Subcommittee. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, will continue his post as National Security Subcommittee chairman. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, will continue to head the regulatory affairs panel. Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., who chaired the now-defunct technology subcommittee, will oversee the health care panel -- which has been expanded to include energy policy.

A congressional staffer predicted two Massachusetts representatives -- Stephen Lynch and John Tierney -- will continue to serve as ranking members of the federal workforce and national security subcommittees, respectively. Reps. Michael Quigley, D-Ill., who currently serves as the Democratic head of the now-defunct “bailout” oversight subcommittee, and John Yarmuth, D-Ky., would each serve as ranking members on one of the remaining two panels -- regulatory affairs, and health care and energy policy.

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