House Committee Assignments Near Finalization, Oklahoma Republicans Taking Big Roles
By: Alex Cameron - January 18, 2023 5:30 pm
It may be another couple of weeks before committees are finalized in the Senate, but the process is mostly complete in the House and for the relatively small size of Oklahoma’s delegation — 5 members — this is a group with real clout, especially now that Republicans are in the majority.
It begins with Rep. Tom Cole, who goes from ranking member of the House Rules Committee to its chairman. In the House, the Rules Committee generally serves as the gateway for legislation to get to the floor and thus can have significant influence on which bills have a chance to become law.
Rep. Cole also remains the number two Republican on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which controls the pursestrings. But instead of being the committee’s vice-ranking member, the change in majority means he is now vice chairman. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) is the new Appropriations chairwoman.
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK3), the senior member of the state’s delegation, will chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the 118th Congress. He had been it’s ranking member. Lucas also learned this week that his request to return to the House Agriculture Committee was granted. Lucas made the request so that he could be involved in writing the next 5-year Farm Bill.
“I’m coming home to the Ag Committee,” Rep. Lucas said in a statement. “I’m proud in the 118th Congress that I’ll be returning to the House Agriculture Committee. Since being elected to Congress in 1994, I’ve been a Member of the Agriculture Committee, having had a hand in writing every Farm Bill since 1996 and serving as Chairman of the Committee from 2011 to 2015 crafting the landmark 2014 Farm Bill.”
“At a time when strengthening safety nets and accounting for higher input costs are a necessity,” Lucas continued, “it’s the responsibility of the Committee to work across the aisle to craft a comprehensive 2023 Farm Bill, ensuring America’s farmers, ranchers, and families have the tools and resources they need to grow the food and fiber and thrive in a 21st century America.”
Here are the major committee assignments for the Oklahoma delegation (as of Tuesday at noon ET):
Rep. Tom Cole, (R) 4th District
–Vice Chairman, Appropriations
Rep. Frank Lucas, (R) 3rd District
–Chairman, Science Space & Technology
Rep. Kevin Hern, (R) 1st District
-Ways & Means
–Chairman, Republican Study Committee
Rep. Stephanie Bice, (R) 5th District
-GOP’s Elected Leadership Committee
Rep. Josh Brecheen, (R) 2nd District
-Natural Resources (requested)
The one negative for Oklahoma, in terms of committee representation, is the loss of Sen. Jim Inhofe’s leadership on Armed Services, due to his retirement. His replacement, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, has requested, and may get a spot on, Armed Services, but observers say Inhofe’s seniority and influence, for now anyway, are irreplaceable.