Black Politics

All House GOP Committee Chairs Will Be White Men

The Republican Party is determined to continue to be the party of old white guys, at least that’s what appears to be the case.   It was recently announced that the GOP is going to have all of its House committee chairmanships filled by white men.  In the entire list of 19 House committee chairs, none of these seats are set to be filled by a woman or minority.

There was one female chair among the House Republicans, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), but she’s stepping down at the end of her term.

“Disappointed to see House committee chairmanships in the 113th Congress will not include a single woman. -PM,” tweeted Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The GOP is mum on their decision to exclude women and minorities from chairmanships within the party.  But one Republican aide noted that there are a few women in positions of influence: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash),  the new House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) is conference vice chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is conference secretary, and Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will represent freshman members in party leadership.

Part of the disparity might be due to the fact that Republicans just don’t have that many women and minorities to choose from.  They’ve only got 20 women in their party, compared with 61 for the Democrats.   You have to search high and low to find minority congressmen on the Republican side of the fence.  The Huffington Post speaks more to the issue: 

Still, that doesn’t mean Republican leaders couldn’t have picked at least one woman or minority for a committee leadership post. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who is currently eighth in seniority on the House Homeland Security Committee, had a decent shot at taking over that committee. Instead, the chair post went to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who is ranked fifth in seniority.

House Democratic leaders haven’t announced who will be the ranking Democrats on each of the committees, but they clearly dominate on the diversity front. Out of the 19 major House committees, as many as nine of the ranking Democrats are expected to be a woman or a minority. Among the more powerful posts: Either Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.) or Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) is poised to take the top Democratic slot on the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) is expected to be the ranking Democrat on Financial Services and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who is African-American, who will keep his top slot on Judiciary.


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