Big Surprise: GOP Picks Only White Men For Committee Chairs

House Republicans are nothing if not consistent. After a day of meetings closed to the public the House Republican Steering Committee (led by a white man) announced leadership for all the major House committees in the 113th Congress and guess what–not a single woman or person of color made the cut.

It doesn’t stop there. Former vice-presidential candidate and proud sponsor of bills that would criminalize contraception and re-define rape, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis) will return to his spot at the head of the Budget Committee, signaling the GOP learned exactly zero from the 2012 election. Ryan will lead House Republicans into budget negotiations and continue to push his ‘tax the poor and coddle the rich’ budget despite the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected that plan just a few short weeks ago. Ryan’s term was slated to leave the leadership spot since he was term-limited (leadership positions are to be held for no more than six years), but the GOP loves him so much they granted him a waiver and anointed him budget leader once again.

Again, because I’m sure not a single woman or person of color was qualified or interested in the spot.

In contrast House Democrats are likely to have five women as ranking members committees: Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.) or Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) on Appropriations, Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) on Financial Services, Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) or Rules, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) on Science and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.) on Small Business. A small number, yes, but a vast improvement from zero.

It’s not like Republicans didn’t have any qualified candidates for committee leadership spots. Michigan Rep. Candice Miller was reportedly close to heading up the Homeland Security Committee but lost that spot to Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, for example. When it comes time to show voters the face of Republican leadership in the House, Republicans chose only men. Why is that?

Could it be that Republicans really can’t imagine their party as big enough for women to take the reigns? If ever there was a time to send that signal to voters, now would be it. Not only is this an opportunity lost to show voters the GOP was serious about trying to mend fences with women voters after routinely talking about women voters and women’s issues with at best disdain and at times outright animosity, this is an opportunity lost to legitimately try and keep the party relevant in the long-term.

More disturbingly, it shows that, deep down Republican men don’t believe women can lead, no matter how hard they pander. Could they not picture a woman leading one of these committees? Did they not know where to look?

Apparently House Republicans were all out of binders.

Obviously the dearth of candidates for leadership slots that happen to be something other than a white man is indicative of the Republican party itself as fewer women and people of color identify as Republican, let alone seek office as one. Isn’t it time the party just admit this freely?


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Photo from gageskidmore via flickr.


Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

Actually China only holds about 1.15 trillion in U.S. debt and the reason they do is because investing in U.S. treasuries is good for China's currency. It is also good for us that our treasuries are so desired.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

Someone in the medical business is afraid of a kick in the ass.

John Reilly
John d6 years ago

Thomas P.
Obamacare actually reduces the deficit over the next 10 years (a little over $100 billion dollars, per the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)). Again, that is not an opinion....that is a cold, hard fiscal fact.

" "not an opinion....that is a cold, hard fiscal fact." " ???

You say "reduces the deficit over the next 10 years (a little over $100 billion dollars"

$100b divided by 10 years is a whole $10b in savings per year?

What, Thomas, is the interest on obams's $4,000,000,000,000.00 dept that the Chinese are holding in Gov bonds? It don't take long to use that $10b up does it?

What is the amount that m. obama has spent on her vacations in the last 4 years?

NOW -- THAT"S " "not an opinion....that is a cold, hard fiscal fact." " ???

John Reilly
John d6 years ago

Thomas P.
As Abe Lincoln says, "do not believe all that you read on the internet"

Anyone who makes up the figures can show anything they want to, a little common sense will show the D & S that "liars figure and figures lie".

How about the female in Dixon Il (population of 14,500) that in a few short years embezzled $53 million dollars from the city of Dixon, Her figures showed all was well in Ronald Reagan's home town, and her books were audited several times in those years!

England just found out that raising the tax on the wealthy actually brought in less money. The rich moved either themselves or their money to countries.

If you really believe CBO then I hope you are young enough to pay all of the bills that the Obamacare will dump on your family.
I'm 69 and the wife is 73 and we are on Medicare THAT I'VE PAID INTO FOR MY WHOLE LIFE and my insurance rates since obama care was passed have quadrupled, in just a few short years! That increase, spread across all families, will break this nation. I'm a republican because we can not all be on welfare.

Thomas P.
Thomas P6 years ago

And for the record, I can't imagine anyone being surprised at the Republican lack of diversity. It is otherwise known as the party of (old) white men for a reason.

Thomas P.
Thomas P6 years ago

Thanks. Jacob R....perhaps you, too, should read the bills/laws you are criticizing. If you do, then you will see that Obamacare actually reduces the deficit over the next 10 years (a little over $100 billion dollars, per the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)). Again, that is not an opinion....that is a cold, hard fiscal fact.

John Hablinski
John Hablinski6 years ago

Joe, you are right or at least I agree with you. It seems to me; given what has transpired since the election, the Republican Party is doing its damnedest to prove to one and all they didn’t learn anything from their loss. The selection of only “Old Angry White Men” as committee ChairMEN just screams “La, la, la, Can’t hear you, La, la, la, Can’t hear you! I don’t know if we are hearing the death knell of the Republican Party but somewhere I think an Altar Boy has grabbed the bell rope.

Victoria McFarlane
Past Member 6 years ago

Yeah, really big surprise.

Joe M.
Joe Martinez6 years ago

Obviously the GOP is not going down without a fight. They learned nothing during Nov. election, so they're testing the waters trying to convince the American people that they and they alone know what's best for our country. Well now they have gone beyond common sense and they will become the party that one was. Independent party please set in.

Mary B.
Mary B6 years ago

Ah Kevin, you caught the worldview of the republicans well. Do psychologists have a name for this dysfuntion that keeps people focused in stereo types of the past, both good and bad? I mean it's fun to remenise, but to still think the world operates now as it did then is a pretty big blind spot.Especially the financial system that was designed for the industrial era.