Leadership Changes On The House Armed Services Committee

January 20, 2017

As the 115th Congress settles in, Republicans not only control both the Senate and the House, but also the White House for the first time in a decade. The GOP maintains control in the Senate by a margin of 52-48 and in the House by a margin of 238-194.

The Republican Steering Committee has approved Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas to return as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. This will be his second term as Chairman, but there is a new raft of members on the committee because of retirements, primary defeats or runs for other office, including Randy Forbes of Virginia, Joe Heck of Nevada, Jeff Miller of Florida, John Kline of Minnesota, John Fleming of Louisiana, Chris Gibson of New York and Rich Nugent of Florida.

Democrats departed include Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California, the No. 2 ranking Democrat behind ranking member Adam Smith of Washington; Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who won her senate bid; Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii, who died earlier this year; and retiring Rep. Gwen Graham of Florida. In total, the full committee is welcoming 16 new members - eight from each party.

A key change in HASC subcommittee leadership that affects MOAA's mission focus is the new leadership of the Personnel Subcommittee. Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado's 6th congressional district replaces Joe Heck. Coffman is a military veteran who served in the Army and the Marine Corps in both an active and reserve capacity and now is in his 6th term. Susan Davis of California will remain as the Ranking Member.

Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia will take over leadership of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee. Wittman previously chaired the Readiness subcommittee and takes over for Randy Forbes who lost his primary election bid last year. Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut will remain the Ranking Member.

Joe Wilson of South Carolina, a long-time member of the Committee will take over on the Readiness Subcommittee with Rep. Bordallo of Guam remaining as the Ranking Member. Wilson is being replaced on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York - a young rising leader in the House GOP. At 32 years of age, she is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and is in her second term. Stefanik's home district includes the Army's Fort Drum. Rep. Langevin of Rhode Island will remain as the Ranking Member.

Mike Turner of Ohio will remain as the Chair of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee as will Mike Rogers of Alabama on Strategic Forces, and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri on Oversight and Investigations.

MOAA looks forward to working with the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee as they begin their new terms.

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