Leadership on Congressional Committees 115th Congress

US Capitol

US Capitol

We have reviewed the potential impacts of the 2016 elections on pertinent congressional committees that are important to our clients’ issues.  Here’s what we’ve found:

U.S. House

UPDATE 12/01/2016

Today the House Republican Steering Committee met and recommended the Members below for committee chairs in the 115th Congress:

Agriculture: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Appropriations: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Armed Services: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Budget: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Education and the Workforce: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Energy and Commerce: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)
Financial Services: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Foreign Affairs: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
Homeland Security: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Judiciary: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Natural Resources: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Science, Space, and Technology: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Small Business: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Transportation and Infrastructure: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Veterans’ Affairs: Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Ways and Means: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) made the following committee chair appointments:

Administration: Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Ethics: Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)
Joint Economic Committee: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Intelligence: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rules: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

These recommendations will be presented to the full House Republican Conference tomorrow for ratification.



U.S. House Committee on Agriculture during deliberations on 2014 Farm Bill

Agriculture Committee: There are a handful of members on both sides of the political aisle that we anticipate will leave the Agriculture Committee to take on other committee assignments.  As we mentioned in an earlier blog, Ready For a New Farm Bill? Preview and Analysis, there are 29 members (16 Republicans and 13 Democrats) currently on the Agriculture Committee that were involved in the negotiations and writing of the 2014 Farm Bill – that’s nearly 65%! None of those 29 members were in a competitive political race in their districts. So, we assume there will be several veteran members with an interest and experience in writing the next Farm Bill. Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) will remain in their leadership capacity on the committee through the upcoming Farm Bill debate.

Appropriations Committee:  Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY)

U.S. Rep Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) likely next Chairman U.S. House Appropriations Committee

U.S. Rep Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)

is term limited as Chairman of the Committee. It is widely expected that Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) will become the next Chairman.  Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) retired and his position of Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration is open.  While other more senior members are in line to become the top Democrat on the Ag Appropriations Subcommittee, given their rank on other subcommittees we have believed for some time that Chellie Pingree (D-ME) will become the Ranking Member.


U.S. Rep John Yarmuth (D-KY)

Budget Committee:  Ranking Member Chris Van Holland (D-MD) successfully won his bid to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate.  This opens up his seat as Ranking Member of the Budget Committee in the U.S. House.  John Yarmuth (D-KY) is odds-on favorite to assume the Ranking Member on the Committee.

Energy and Commerce: Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) is term limited as Chairman of the Committee.  The two front runners to replace him were Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX).  Barton formerly chaired the Committee beginning in 2004.  However, Greg Walden (R-OR) bested the two front-runners and was recommended by the republican Steering Committee.  The Committee is the oldest standing legislative House committee with broad non tax-oriented jurisdiction of any congressional committee with responsibilities including Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency oversight, U.S. commerce and public health issues.


U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) incoming Ranking Member of Senate Appropriations Committee for the 115th Congress

U.S. Senate

Agriculture:  We expect very few, if any changes, on the Committee.

Appropriations Committee:  Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Ranking Member, retired from the Senate.  Replacing Mikulski will be Patrick Leahy (VT).

Budget Committee:  Former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will remain Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee.  He has also been named as a member of Senate Democratic leadership as Chairman of Outreach for Senate Democrats in the next Congress.



U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) incoming Ranking Member Environment & Public Works Committee

Commerce, Science & Transportation: The defeat of Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) opens up one seat for a Republican member on this committee.


U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) incoming Chairman, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee


Environment and Public Works (EPW):  Chairman of the EPW Committee Senator Jim Inhofe is term limited and replacing him as Chairman will be Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member, retired from the Senate.  The new Ranking Member for democrats will be Tom Carper (DE).



U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) incoming Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee

Judiciary Committee:  U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) replaces Senator Leahy as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In this position, Feinstein will play an important role in the vetting process of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and immigration policy.


Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs: Replacing Senator Carper as Ranking Member will be Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Intelligence Committee:  U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) will replace Senator Feinstein as Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the new 115th Congress.

Cansler Consulting government relations lobbyists At Cansler Consulting we understand that in Washington, D.C. change is the only constant. Advocacy in Washington is also changing and we are at the forefront using new technologies and data to help us focus on strategies that improve our client's return on investment. Our core lobbying strategies are driven by the value at stake from federal legislative & regulatory actions. Leading studies indicate that today's business value impacted by government and regulatory action, or inaction can reach as high as 30 percent of earnings for most companies. With as much as one-third of earnings at stake, it is imperative that companies, industries and organizations engage in government relations. If you need effective representation from a bipartisan, entrepreneurial government relations firm contact Cansler Consulting. We are certified by the National Institute of Lobbying and Ethics and have decades of experience assisting clients in issue areas including Agriculture, Budget & Appropriations, Food Safety, Transportation & Infrastructure, International Trade and Energy. Through our relationships established in Washington, D.C. and throughout the U.S. for over two decades we can help you the legislative and regulatory processes on Capitol Hill and inside federal agencies. You can contact us at

Tim Cansler