Congress

Meadows loses Gov Ops gavel

Mark Randall Meadows, U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 11th congressional district.

Rep. Mark Meadows voted against leadership on the rule for a trade bill, and paid for it with his subcommittee chairmanship, while two more-senior lawmakers who did the same retained their gavels. (Image: Wikipedia)

A key House subcommittee with broad oversight of government management will be getting a new chairman, thanks to a stroke of political payback for a rogue vote.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was stripped of the subcommittee post by Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Meadows earned the ire of the leadership of the Republican caucus after casting a "no" vote on a procedural motion that structured voting on a measure to give President Barack Obama "fast track" authority to negotiate a global trade deal.

A spokesperson for Chaffetz told FCW that a new chair had yet to be named. The subcommittee, though obscure to the general public, has authority over government management, government-wide financial and accounting policy, the federal civil service, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, federal records policy, the Census Bureau and the Post Office.

The panel is taking a leading role in congressional probes into the theft of databases of government employee information, including security clearance application forms, from OPM.

Though Republican lawmakers were free to vote against the underlying legislation -- and many did-- Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was vocal about his displeasure with the 34 of his fellow Republicans who voting against the rules package, and thus against the party leadership.

“We're a team and we've worked hard to get to the majority, we've worked hard to stay in the majority, and I expect our team to act like a team," Boehner told reporters after a meeting of the Republican caucus after the rules vote.

Meadows wasn't the only casualty. Three members of the Republican Whip team lost their leadership roles. But Meadows was the only subcommittee head to lose a gavel over the vote, although two more senior Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee chairs joined him in opposing the rule on the trade bill.

Fourth-term Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who heads the Interior Subcommittee, lost her job on the Republican Whip team for her vote against the rules package but kept her gavel. Fifth-term Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) voted against the rule, but retained his chairmanship of the Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules Subcommittee.

"I made a tough decision that I believe is in the interest of the committee,” Chaffetz told Roll Call that. “I think highly of Mr. Meadows but a change was needed based on multiple factors." Previously, Chaffetz had told Politico, where the news first appeared, that there were a "variety of factors" involved in the disciplining of Meadows. Meadows voted against Boehner for Speaker when Congress opened earlier this year.

It's not clear from the roster of Republican subcommittee members who might take over at Government Operations. Several members also cast no votes on the rules package, including Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who is an active participant on the Oversight committee. Whoever gets the gavel will sit next to ranking member Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) at hearings -- one of eight Democrats to cross party lines and support the rule on the trade vote.

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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