House Oversight Committee Gets New Face in Last Minute Conservative Win
There has been concern among Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump that the impending Democrat majority in the House of Representatives will unleash a torrent of committee investigations that will thwart the agenda of the Trump administration.
While it is largely inevitable that there will be many Democrat-led committee investigations against Trump, the flood may be tempered and countered somewhat in at least one committee as a staunch conservative and fierce defender of the president was surprisingly appointed to the position of ranking member of the minority party in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for the next term.
It was announced that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan would be the top Republican on the committee going forward. Jordan already had the distinction of being the senior Republican on the committee, which is currently chaired by retiring Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy.
The Hill reported that Jordan had initially been in the running for the ranking member position on the House Judiciary Committee, but had withdrawn his bid Thursday morning when it became clear that Republican House leadership and the Republican steering committee intended to appoint Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.
Meanwhile, all signs pointed toward North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows as the most likely candidate to serve as ranking member of the Oversight Committee in the next term. Meadows had arrived for a meeting with the steering committee holding a large binder that presumably included his plans for Republican action as the minority in the next term.
Jordan reportedly arrived at the closed-door meeting while it was ongoing, and later informed reporters that his good friend and House Freedom Caucus ally, Meadows, had stepped aside to allow him the uncontested chance to lead Republicans on the Oversight Committee.
“I just talked to them about the OGR ranking member position. The committee is discussing what they are going to do. I just went in and told them I am interested in the position,” Jordan said. Asked if Meadows was also still in the running for the coveted spot, Jordan replied, “No, he is not.”
It was later confirmed by two members of the steering committee and GOP House Whip Steve Scalise that Jordan had been named the ranking member of the Oversight Committee.
Two GOP sources tell me @Jim_Jordan just won Oversight ranker unanimously. Wow
— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) November 29, 2018
Scalise told The Hill, “The steering committee unanimously selected Jim Jordan to be our next ranking member. And I think he’s going to do a great job and thought that it was a good move by the committee.”
He added, “You never know what good things will happen along the way in these interviews.”
CNN reported that Meadows and Jordan met with each other in a room off to the side of the steering committee and were later joined by Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy accompanied Jordan into the room with the steering committee, where he was named as the ranking member of the Oversight Committee.
Meadows later told reporters, “It’s one of the few times where you can rejoice in somebody else’s success, and I rejoice in Jim Jordan’s willingness to serve on Oversight and, quite frankly, I think it’s a unifying day for our conference.”
Jordan will now serve as the minority counterbalance to the presumed next chairman of the committee, Democratic Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. Cummings said that he hopes for a return of “civility” to the committee when he was informed that Jordan would be the ranking member in the next term.
The report from CNN also indicated that President Trump may have had a hand in the decision to name Jordan as the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, as there were reportedly talks between Republican leadership and the White House about Trump’s desire to see allies in the House appointed to top positions on key committees — no doubt as an attempt to prevent the Democrat-led committees from ranging too far afield in their efforts to besiege the White House with endless and voluminous investigations.
Jordan is a tough fighter who may be able to provide some protection for Trump’s White House from this top position on the Oversight Committee, but it remains to be seen just how effective he will be at reining in the impulses of Cummings and the rest of the Democrats as they go after Trump.
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