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SENATE LABOR & HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE SHIFTING GOP MEMBERS

Executive Summary

SENATE LABOR & HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE SHIFTING GOP MEMBERS in the 101st Congress. Three Republican members - Sens. Thurmond (S.C.), Cochran (Miss.) and Humphrey (N.H.) - are each on three "A," or major committees. As a result, they must each give up seniority on one of these until all of the five freshman GOP senators have received committee assignments. All three incumbent senators chose to give up the committee chaired by Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.). The three questionmarks are in addition to the three GOP vacancies on the committee left by VP-elect Quayle, Sen. Stafford's (R-Vt.) retirement, and Sen. Weicker's (R-Conn.) defeat. Sen. Kassebaum (Kan.) is relinquishing her seat on the Commerce Committee to take one of the Republican seats on the Kennedy committee. The move will make Kassebaum second in seniority to Orrin Hatch (Utah), the ranking Republican on Labor and Human Resources. The third GOP position will go to freshman Sen. Jeffords (Vt.). Thurmond, Cochran and Humphrey will not announce whether they choose to remain on the Kennedy committee until all of the GOP freshman assignments are made, which will not occur until after Vice President-Elect Quayle's Senate position is filled. To date, incoming GOP Sens. Jeffords, Gorton (Wash.) and Lott (Miss.) have made committee choices. New Sens. Burns (Mont.) and Mack (Fla.) also will be assigned to committees after Quayle's replacement is named. Reportedly, Rep. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, is a candidate to fill Quayle's seat. On Dec. 1 the Democratic Steering Committee, the party's representative group in the Senate, decided committee chairmanships. As expected, outgoing Majority Leader Byrd (W.Va.) was recommended as chairman of the Appropriations Committee and Sen. Stasser (Tenn.) as chairman of the Budget Committee. Sens. Pryor (Ark.) will chair the Aging Committee, and Sens. Bentsen (D-Texas) and Kennedy will retain the chairmanships of the Finance Committee, and the Labor and Human Resources Committee, respectively. A final vote on the positions will be taken next month by the full Senate Democratic Conference. House members met the week of Dec. 5 to fill leadership posts for the next term. For the Democrats, former Budget Committee Chairman Gray (Pa.) was elected Democratic Caucus chairman, beating out Reps. Oakar (Ohio) and Synar (Okla.). Other Democratic House leaders were re-elected, including Speaker Wright (Tex.), Majority Leader Foley (Wash.) and Majority Whip Coelho (Calif.). The Republicans re-elected Rep. Michel (Ill.) as minority leader and selected Rep. Cheney (Wyo.) as minority whip. As expected, Rep. Panetta (Calif.) assumes the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee. In addition, three new members were nominated for membership on the Appropriations Committee: Democratic Reps. Chapman (Tex.) and Atkins (Mass.) and Republican Rep. Gallo (N.J.), who replaces retiring Rep. Kemp (N.Y.). Two Republicans also were added to the Ways and Means Committee: Reps. Johnson (Conn.) and Sundquist (Tenn.). They replace Reps. Daub (Neb.), who lost a Senate bid, and Gregg (N.H.), who was elected governor of his state. These changes also must be approved by the respective parties in the House. The Steering Committee also recommended the addition of Democratic members to committees. Under the plan, the Appropriations Committee would gain Sens. Adams (Wash.), Fowler (Ga.) and Kerrey (Neb.). They replace retiring Sens. Stennis (Miss.), Proxmire (Wis.) and Chiles (Fla.). The Budget Committee adds Sens. Robb (Va.), in place of Chiles. The Aging Committee adds Sens. Graham (Fla.) and Kohl (Wis.). There were no changes in Democratic seats on either the Finance or Labor panels. The Republican Committee on Committees approved a plan for Sen. Wallop (Wyo.), now on the Finance Committee, and Sen. Symms (Idaho), now on the Armed Services Committee, to trade seats.
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