Time to Put Conservatives on Major Congressional Committees
It’s hard to describe just how wretchedly long a process it will be for elected conservatives to have much influence within the House and Senate. This article from Red State throws into sharp relief the very very long 10-15 year process it will be [if that short] before conservatives can hope to have some say about what comes up for a vote, for instance. They simply are not in positions of power within even an institution that is controlled by the Republican Party and one that has experienced gaining more elected conservatives than the Senate—the House of Representatives.
Those who believe that all we need to do is elect another 10-20 actual conservatives before we can begin to change the shape of government are about as delusional as those who believe that we have but to elect another 20-40 deputies to General Convention and we can then begin to change the shape of the House of Deputies [see, I’ve helpfully scaled the numbers up for the doubled-size of the HOD as compared to the US House of Representatives]. And yes, I’m comparing the revisionists in the House of Deputies to the Republicans in the House of Representatives. And even at a rate of 10 or so elected conservatives every two years to replace 10 or so Rinos. . . well, you can do the math.
So yeh ... 10-15 years to have some influence, if we have good elections every single time and if conservatives are ultra-disciplined and work the system.
How do we remake the House as a conservative firewall against big government? Even if we elect more conservatives, history has shown that they rarely set the agenda outside of leadership. We could focus on lofty goals, such as replacing the current leaders or even installing new committee chairman. Sadly, those goals are largely out of reach. There is one realistic way we can assert control over the legislative process, though. That is by pushing our best members onto the most consequential committees.
In terms of steering conservatives into committee chairmanships, we have an uphill climb. The only significant opportunity will open up at the Budget Committee, if Paul Ryan becomes Vice President. At that point, we will have an opportunity to push for Rep. Scott Garrett, the vice chairman, to grab the gavel of the committee. However, a more realistic yet important goal would be to install conservatives as regular members on the ‘Super-A’ committees.
By far, the three most consequential committees with jurisdiction over domestic policy are Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Energy & Commerce. Not surprisingly, those are the worst performing committees from a conservative perspective.
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