Steering Committee

Republicans Restructure Panel for Selecting Committee Assignments
Steering Committee will have more regional representatives

House Republicans drafted new regions for electing representatives to serve on the Steering Committee, which elects committee chairmen.

House Republicans on Wednesday restructured the panel of representatives that select committee chairmen and members, removing at-large seats in favor of more regional slots. 

The move was the final piece of plan to restructure the Republican Steering Committee that the conference agreed to last November. The overhaul was part of Speaker Paul D. Ryan's promise to change GOP rules and procedures to give rank-and-file members more input. 

House Republicans OK Changes to Steering Panel

Ryan, R-Wis., center, speaks with his chief of staff, David Hoppe, following the Senate GOP's policy luncheon last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans passed changes to overhaul the Steering Committee by voice vote Thursday.  

It's the first of what could be several changes to how the conference operates, and a sign that new Speaker Paul D. Ryan was serious when he promised to take members' complaints seriously. The biggest change to the Steering Committee — which assigns members to the standing panels of the House — is the elimination of six committee chairmen who currently have seats at the table: Pete Sessions of Rules, Jeb Hensarling of Financial Services, Kevin Brady of Ways and Means, Tom Price of Budget, Harold Rogers of Appropriations and Fred Upton of Energy and Commerce.  

Ryan Faces Political Test on Steering Panel Overhaul

Ryan at his first solo news conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan passed his legislative test on the highway bill, but now he faces a more complicated political trial: making good on his promise to change internal GOP rules in a way that can unite the conference.  

Before heading home for the Thanksgiving recess, the Wisconsin Republican and a seven-member task force will present their plan for restructuring the panel that recommends committee appointments to the GOP conference for its approval. House floor time could be taken up by highways and financial services legislation.  

Task Force Charged With Steering Committee Review

Ryan and aides head to a GOP Conference meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has directed a task force to make recommendations on how to diversify representation on the Steering Committee.  

Members charged with overhauling the powerful panel that determines appointments to the House's committees will submit recommendations to the full Republican Conference the week before Thanksgiving. Ryan Elected Speaker

Brady Set to Replace Ryan as Ways and Means Chairman

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:43 p.m. | Kevin Brady was chosen to replace Paul D. Ryan as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  

Republicans quickly congratulated the Texas Republican for his selection by the Republican Steering Committee to head the powerful tax-writing panel. The choice must still be ratified by the full Republican Conference in a vote scheduled for Thursday morning, but that is expected to be a formality. Ryan spoke in Brady's favor, saying “he felt Kevin was the guy,” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland told reporters. “And I’m sure that carried a lot of weight.”  

Steering Committee, Other Rules Changes to Confront GOP

McMorris Rodgers and Messer arrive Monday for a meeting with Boehner. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:18 p.m. | House Republicans could vote as early as this week on some changes to their official rules — including a plan to diversify the makeup of the powerful Steering Committee, Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers told CQ Roll Call Tuesday.  

Fast-tracking a vote to broaden member representation of the board that makes committee assignments could have an immediate effect on Republicans Kevin Brady of Texas and Pat Tiberi of Ohio, who are vying to succeed Paul D. Ryan as chairman of Ways and Means. Ryan is poised to become the next speaker Thursday.