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McCarthy Selects Ranking Members of House Ethics and Rules Committees

Republicans Kenny Merchant and Tom Cole get their Shot

By Sean Brown, December 31, 2018 1:13 pm

After nearly a month of consideration and shuffling, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Tulare) has cemented his picks for the House Ethics and House Rules Committees.

Although McCarthy’s title is soon to be relegated to Minority Leader following a tough midterm election for Republicans, many of D.C.’s committee demographics in new Congress will still be subject to significant influence from the west coast politician.

Rising to serve as the ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, Texas Republican Kenny Marchant has been chosen to help steer the panel after fellow Republican Susan Brooks has steped aside following a respectable three terms.

It should be noted that unless a member heads the committee in their fourth term, House rules do not allow any member to serves more than three Congressional cycles.

Marchant will end the current congress as the second ranking GOP member of the committee after Patrick Meehan resigned from his seat last April. Meehan’s resignation largely stemmed from a sexual harassment investigation which was halted after the departure from the House.

Currently, all 21 committees in the House stand unevenly divided between parties except for the Ethics panel which is comprised of five Democrats and five Republicans.

Functioning as a guide and overseer of different legislation, Oklahoma’s Tom Cole will serve as the ranking member on the powerful House Rules Committee. Republicans are expected to lose five seats on this committee once the balance of power shifts back into Democratic hands. Cole’s opportunity presented itself after current chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) lost his race for re-election.


Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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