Monday, January 10, 2011

House Appropriations HS Chair Named

According to a report at last Friday the Republican leadership finally got around to appointing the powerful chair of the subcommittees for the House Appropriations Committee. The delay in putting these leaders into place will not make it any easier to get a budget bill formulated prior to the March 4th deadline put into place in the current Continuing Resolution.

The delay was apparently due to some political shuffling going on in the Committee. Instead of just appointing last sessions ranking members to the chair position, a number of people were moved around on the sub-committee on which they served. A case in point was the move from the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of Rep. Robert Alderholt (R, AL) to chair the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

In a year with a complicated dual budget process (both the FY 2011 and FY 2012 budgets have to be produced, essentially from scratch) it seems a bit foolhardy to appoint so many chair that do not have an intimate knowledge of the previous budgets of the departments they now control. Of course, it is the subcommittee staffs that are responsible for the details of the budget writing process so the Republicans may still be able to pull this off without any major mistakes.

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