Hill turnover will affect federal IT community

Term limits and retirements will alter the lineup of committee chairs with jurisdiction over federal IT policy.

auctioneer

Capitol Hill retirements are making regular news as the 2014 midterm campaigns get into full swing, and a picture is emerging of what the next Congress could look like, especially in terms of plum committee assignments.

The federal IT community will keenly experience the absence of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) at the helm of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. After two terms as chairman and one as ranking member, the combative Issa will be handing over his gavel.

Issa is the public face of Republican efforts to investigate high-profile issues like the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the targeting of right-leaning political advocacy groups by the IRS. But he has also taken the lead  on oversight of federal IT spending and policy.

He is continuing a push to have his stalled Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which he cosponsored with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), become law in 2014. Issa is also a strong advocate for a bipartisan spending transparency measure called the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which originated in his committee and is being shepherded in the Senate by Virginia Democrat Mark Warner.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) is next in line to take the gavel at Oversight in terms of seniority, assuming Republicans maintain control of the House. He’s taken a strong hand on issues such as federal real estate management as chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and expressed interest in taking over the full committee. If Mica is passed over, other candidates include Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security.

Jordan is a tea party favorite and tough interrogator in committee hearings who has bucked party leadership on occasion. Chaffetz is among those leading the charge on Benghazi, and is also known as a tech-savvy member. A dark horse for the slot could be Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), a longtime intimate of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who is a recent addition to the committee. Of the possible candidates, only Chaffetz seems to have the background and interest to maintain Issa’s focus on federal IT as a key oversight issue.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) will be handing off the gavel at the Small Business Committee, which is critically important to small firms looking to do business as government contractors. The committee has looked into strategic sourcing, small business set asides, and has direct oversight authority of the Small Business Administration. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) is the most senior member on the committee, and is the most likely candidate to take over. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), head of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, is a possible challenger, along with Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), a cybersecurity hawk who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice and Commerce departments along with NASA and the National Science Foundation, is stepping down after 17 terms in the House. Wolf is the architect of legislative restrictions on the acquisition of China-made IT by agencies under his appropriations authority. The restrictions are up for reauthorization in the appropriations package now wending its way through Congress, and are controversial among industry groups. It remains to be seen who – if anyone – picks up the torch for  the rules after Wolf leaves.

The Senate could flip to Republicans in the fall elections, which would mean a shift to GOP chairman across the board.  Federal IT watchers might feel this most notably on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where spending hawk Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is in line to take over. However, Coburn recently revealed he was undergoing chemotherapy for prostate cancer, and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of cutting his term short to attend to his treatment.

No matter what happens, the chairmanship of the powerful Commerce Committee will change hands in 2015. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is retiring, and oversight of key technology issues such as telecommunications networks, the Federal Communications Commission, data privacy, much of the civilian cybersecurity portfolio, technology research and development come under the panel’s purview.

If Democrats hold the Senate, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is next in line in terms of seniority, followed by  Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

Decisions on committee gavels are almost a year away, so the situation could change considerably. The Senate was already upended a bit by the recent nomination of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)  to serve as ambassador to China, and movement to fill a cascade of open committee slots could change the succession picture in the upper chamber no matter which party is in control.

 

 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.