As the 112th Congress convened last week new leadership teams took charge of the defense oversight Committees in the House while in the Senate defense committees’ leadership was unchanged from the 111th Congress. In the House, leadership positions switched parties as the Republicans took control. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was elected Speaker of the House along with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) as House Majority Leader. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected House Minority Leader. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) took over the reigns of the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and named Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) to head the Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D). Chairman Young had been the ranking minority member in the 111th Congress and previously had been Chair when the Republicans held control of the House. Rep. Norm Dicks, former subcommittee chair, assumed the ranking minority post. Rogers also announced that Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) would head the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. On the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) is the new chair. Rep, McKeon, a member of Congress since 1992, was the ranking minority member of the HASC in the 111th Congress. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) is the new HASC ranking minority member.
In the Senate, Sen. Dan Inouye (D-HI) remains both Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) and the Defense Subcommittee (SAC-D). Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) continues as the ranking minority Senator on the SAC and the SAC-D. On the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (SAC-MilCon/VA), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) retains the chair and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who just announced she will not run or reelection in 2012, stays on as ranking minority senator. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) continues as chair of the Senates Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Sen. John McCain remains as ranking minority Senator. More information on committee and subcommittee members and staff is available on the committee websites.