Congress

Meet Darrell Issa's replacement

Jason Chaffetz

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was tapped on Nov. 18 to lead the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for the incoming Congress. Current chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose name has become synonymous with hard-hitting investigations of the Obama administration, must relinquish the gavel under Republican conference term limit rules.

Chaffetz, a third-term member, is known as a tech-savvy, media-friendly presence on the committee. He has been aggressive in his investigations of the killing of the American ambassador to Libya and three others in Benghazi. He has also made no secret of his bid to win the Oversight gavel since speculation on Issa's successor kicked off in the spring of 2014, and has pledged to work across the aisle with committee Democrats.

Relations between Republicans and Democrats have frayed under Issa's leadership, in particular during the investigations into the Internal Revenue Service's approach to determining tax-exempt status for politically active organizations. "I am encouraged that Rep. Chaffetz has shown a sincere interest in working together and focusing on reform, and I hope this bipartisanship continues," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the committee, said in a statement.

Issa also weighed in on the selection, saying that Chaffetz is a "valued colleague and demonstrated leader who will continue the work of the Oversight Committee in the next Congress. I am looking forward to working with him on the transition and moving my focus to other responsibilities."

Other new chairmen for the incoming Congress include Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) taking over the powerful Ways and Means gavel, and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) taking over Armed Services as expected. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) will lead the Small Business Committee. And House Speaker John Boehner tapped Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to head the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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