Gowdy given oversight gavel

The Republican Steering Committee has selected Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) / Photo: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

The Republican Steering Committee has tapped Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Gowdy, 52, will succeed Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as oversight chief beginning June 30, when Chaffetz’s resignation goes into effect.

“Trey Gowdy possesses the experience and deep commitment to transparency and accountability necessary to be the House’s next Oversight chairman,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “He has proven that he will always look out for taxpayers and seek answers from the bureaucracy. Trey has my absolute confidence, and I know he will do an outstanding job.”

In a statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee's ranking member, said, “I offer my sincerest congratulations to Rep. Gowdy on his new role.”

“I look forward to working with him in a constructive and bipartisan manner on an agenda that serves the interests of the American people,” Cummings continued. “He is our Chairman, and we pledge to support his efforts whenever we can.”

Gowdy, a federal former prosecutor, is perhaps best known for heading the special committee formed to investigate 2012 events at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Gowdy also played a prominent role in the oversight investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

While the oversight panel regularly took on IT issues under Chaffetz’s watch, Gowdy doesn’t have a lengthy record on federal tech.

At a March House Intelligence Committee hearing, the fourth-term congressman expressed his support for reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits the government to conduct electronic surveillance on non-U.S. persons outside of the country without a warrant.

Gowdy was also reportedly under consideration to succeed James Comey as FBI director before withdrawing his name.

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