House Committee ChairMEN

We recently discussed potential House Committee Chairs in Federal Policy Week. The Republican Caucus voted and the Chairs are now set. The House Republican Conference approved the full list of Committee Chairmen (20 men and 1 woman) this week. Chairman, and some information on selected positions over the years, for key Committees include:

Agriculture: As expected, Rep. Conaway (R-TX) was elected Chairman. His district has many livestock producers, dairy farmers, and crop farmers. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, protecting critical habitat for several species. He is a cosponsor of HR4284, which significantly restricts the Department of Interior from implementing the Endangered Species Act, HR2807 on tax incentives for conservation easements, and HR2445, repealing CAFÉ standards, HR1042, which delists some species under the ESA, HR990, which allows importation of polar bears from hunts in Canada, HR590, which removes the gray wolf from the ESA. He has a 0% rating by the HSLF.

Appropriations: Rep. Rogers (R-KY) remains as Chairman of the Committee. Once one of the most desirable committees for its ability for Members to secure earmarks, the Committee still has power to control purse strings, and remains sought-after, just not to the extent it was years ago. Chairman Rogers welcomed Republican new members and announced subcommittee Chairs. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, and protecting critical habitat for several species. He is a cosponsor of HR4098 – the bill that protects those who engage in soring of horses (See Federal Policy Week posting on animal-related legislation), HR5300, which nullifies EPA regulations on emissions from power plants, and from previous Congresses HR411, which establishes a multinational species conservation fund for great cats and rare canids, HR5534, which protects trading in bear parts, and HR1913, for preservation of great cats. He has a 12% rating by the HSLF.

Budget: As predicted, Rep. Price (R-GA) assumed Chairmanship. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting critical habitat for several species. Price has voted against protecting some species and habitat, but also for strengthening prohibitions against animal fighting. He has a 12% rating by the HSLF.

Energy & Commerce – Rep. Upton (R-MI) retained his role as Chairman. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting critical habitat for several species. His voting patterns have leaned more conservative (and anti- renewable energy, environment, etc.) in his efforts to become Chairman of the Energy Committee (and retain the seat). In previous years, Upton has voted for protecting some species and habitat and also for strengthening prohibitions against animal fighting. In the past, he has also voted for regulating some kennels and against breeding or possessing big cats. He is a cosponsor of HR2066, Pets on Trains legislation and HR2856, Captive Primate Safety Act, HR1998 Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (see Federal Policy Week posting), and from Previous Congresses, HR835 – Puppy Protection Act, and HR3327, the Dog Protection Act. He has a 25% rating by the HSLF.

Judiciary – Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) remains Chairman of the Committee. He previously served as the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. His district “is one of the leading turkey and poultry producing districts in the nation and ranks among the top 100 in fruit, cattle, dairy products, sheep, corn, and barley production.” He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), Keystone Pipeline XL, has opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting some wild species and critical habitat for several species and regulations of water runoff in some cases. Goodlatte has voted against protecting some species and habitat over the years. He cosponsored HR5078, which prohibits new protections of the waters of the US, HR4551, which transfers management of forests to states to allow entities to manage the forests, HR3015, which excludes animals accidentally included in a shipment of aquatic animals for consumption or recreation, HR2807, which creates tax incentives for conservation easements, H.ConRes24, which essentially opposes a climate tax, HR5961, which prohibits to EPA from taking aerial surveys without permission. He has a 12% rating by the HSLF.

Natural Resources: Rep. Bishop (R-UT) was elected the new Chairman of the Committee. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting critical habitat for several species. Bishop has voted against protecting some species and habitat, but also for strengthening prohibitions against animal fighting and educating humans about spaying, neutering, and adopting pets. He cosponsored HR5058, which allows transfer of wild horses and burros to states and tribes (& lose federal protection) and HR4988, which limits the President from declaring national monuments in an area of an exclusive economic zone, HR3590, which promotes hunting and fishing and includes a bill that allows import of polar bears legally hunted from Canada, HR1526, a pro-logging bill, HR382, which limits Presidential designation of national monuments, HR4716, which prohibits designation of the sage-grouse under the ESA and supported a resolution to designate a “National Animal Rescue Day.” He has a 0% rating by the HSLF.

Rules – Rep. Sessions (R-TX) will continue as Chairman of the Rules Committee. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR), opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, Kyoto, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting forests (supported thinning). Sessions has voted against protecting some species and habitat. In the past he supported a grassland reserve program (2001) and tax incentives for conservation easements (2009). HR5052, which allows importation, sale, distribution etc. of ivory that was “lawfully” imported or possessed by or after Feb 2014. He has a 12% rating by the HSLF.

Science, Space, and Technology – Rep. Smith (R-TX) was re-elected as Chairman of this Committee, which relentlessly attacks the science agencies, like EPA and NSF, while retaining Members who express skepticism of the human role in climate change and even evolution. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR) and opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, Kyoto, tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy electricity, protecting forests (supported thinning). He has supported stronger regulations on animal fighting and tax incentives on conservation easements. He sponsored HRes651, Supporting Wildlife Rehab Centers, cosponsored the PAST Act, which prohibits soring of horses, HR835, the Puppy Protection Act. (see Federal Policy Week posting). HR5052, which allows importation, sale, distribution etc. of ivory that was “lawfully” imported or possessed by or after Feb 2014. He has a 50% rating by the HSLF.

Transportation & Infrastructure – Rep. Shuster (R-PA). Shuster has spear-headed the efforts for passage of the Keystone XL pipeline and undermining EPA’s efforts to protect our Nation’s waters, air, and climate. Some policies he has favored include expanded drilling and strengthening animal fighting legislation. He opposed greenhouse gas regulations, tax incentives for renewable energy, protection for some endangered species and habitats. He is a cosponsor of the HR1518, PAST Act (anti-soring horses bill) and HR835, the Puppy Protection Act. (see Federal Policy Week posting). He has a 37% rating by the HSLF.
Ways & Means – Rep. Ryan (R-WI) is the newly elected Chairman of the Committee, which focuses on tax policy. He has favored drilling on federal lands (including in oceans and ANWR) and opposed CAFÉ standards and climate change regulations, several endangered species listings (habitats), but has supported conservation (in the context of hunting) and restrictions on animal fighting. He co-sponsored HR590, which removes the gray wolf from the ESA, HR3453, which requires the Secretary to “permit any state in which wolves are listed as an endangered or threatened species to conduct lethal and non-lethal control of wolves to protect from wolf depredations if the population of wolves in such state exceeds the goal established by a species recovery plan,” and HR3074, which transfer of Cormorant management from Federal management to the states, once a state management plan is approved. He has a 12% rating by the HSLF.

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