3 regional GOP reps assigned to House committees

By David Skolnick



U.S. Rep.-elect Bill Johnson, a retired 26-year Air Force officer, will serve on three House committees: Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs and Veterans Affairs.

“Throughout the campaign, Bill spoke about representing the interests of the people, and with these committee assignments, he’ll have influence across a wide range of policy,” said Christian Palich, Johnson’s transition director.

“As one of a few first-term congressmen with three committee assignments, it looks as though Bill intends to enthusiastically dive in on important issues like creating jobs and decreasing spending.”

Natural Resources handles legislation dealing with public lands, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation, and oceanography.

Foreign Affairs is responsible for oversight and legislation related to foreign assistance, national security affecting foreign policy, war powers, the deployment and use of the armed forces, and the activities and policies of the State, Commerce and Defense departments, among other related issues.

Veterans Affairs oversees policies related to military veterans such as medical treatment, pensions and military cemeteries.

Johnson beat U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, a Democrat from St. Clairsville, in the November general election. The 12-county 6th District includes all of Columbiana County and about half of Mahoning County.

U.S. Rep.-elect Mike Kelly of Butler, Pa., R-3rd, a car-dealership owner, will serve on two committees: Oversight and Government Reform, and Education and Labor.

Oversight and Government Reform is the main investigative committee in the House with jurisdiction to investigate any federal program, including those in the executive branch, and matters with federal policy implications, Kelly said.

“The American people sent a clear message on Nov. 2 that they wanted their government to be held more accountable,” Kelly said, and “that is exactly what this committee intends to do during this next Congress.”

Education and Labor handles issues related to workers’ rights, safety, wages, benefits and retirement, and education issues such as early-childhood, primary, higher and adult education.

Kelly beat U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, a Democrat from Erie, Pa., in the November election. The district includes a portion of Mercer County.

U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette of Bainbridge, R-14th, re-elected November to his ninth two-year term, will remain on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

LaTourette’s congressional district includes seven northern townships in Trumbull County.

House Democrats hadn’t determined committee assignments for their members for the upcoming congressional season as of Friday.

It appears U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, is in serious jeopardy of losing his seat on Appropriations.

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