Fa­mil­iar faces

Some new lead­ers sworn in to 113th Congress

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - Rich Daly and Jes­sica Zig­mond

The 113th Congress was sworn in on Jan. 3, and the com­mit­tees with the most in­flu­ence over health­care pol­icy will have rel­a­tively few new faces. Sen. Max Bau­cus (D-Mont.) will re­main at the head of the pow­er­ful Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee. That panel added two Demo­cratic mem­bers, Sens. Michael Ben­net of Colorado and Sher­rod Brown of Ohio, to re­place re­tired Sens. Kent Con­rad of North Dakota and Jeff Binga­man of New Mex­ico. The com­mit­tee’s new Repub­li­can mem­bers are Sens. Johnny Isak­son of Ge­or­gia, Rob Port­man of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia.

The Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee also re­tained its chair­man, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who gave up a chance to take over the pow­er­ful Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee. He did so, he said, be­cause he wanted to re­tain his lead­er­ship of the HELP Com­mit­tee and the chair­man­ship of the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee on La­bor, Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­lated Agen­cies.

New Demo­cratic mem­bers of the HELP panel were Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wis­con­sin, Christo­pher Murphy of Con­necti­cut and Elizabeth War­ren of Mas­sachusetts.

The new­est Repub­li­can on the HELP Com- mit­tee was Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is a former U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive ap­pointed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Ha­ley to take the seat of re­tired Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

The com­mit­tee tra­di­tion­ally seen as the least ac­tive of the three has had the big­gest changes. Sen. Bill Nel­son (D-Fla.) took over the chair­man­ship of the Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Ag­ing, which ad­dresses some Medi­care is­sues.

Baldwin and War­ren will join Sen. Joe Don­nelly of In­di­ana as new Demo­cratic mem­bers of the Ag­ing panel. Its new Repub­li­can mem­bers were Sens. Scott, Jeff Flake of Ari­zona, Ted Cruz of Texas and Kelly Ay­otte of New Hamp­shire.

In the lower cham­ber, Rep. Joe Pitts (RPa.) will con­tinue to serve as chair­man of the House En­ergy and Com­merce Health Sub­com­mit­tee and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a physi­cian, will stay on as vice chair­man.

New mem­bers of the ma­jor­ity party on that panel in­clude Reps. Re­nee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse; Ralph Hall (R-Texas) and Mor­gan Grif­fith (R-Va.). Democrats had not yet an­nounced their new mem­bers.

A GOP aide for the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee’s ma­jor­ity side said the tax panel will not an­nounce its com­mit­tee or sub­com­mit­tee mem­bers—in­clud­ing who will suc­ceed the now-re­tired Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.) as chair­man of the Health Sub­com­mit­tee— un­til the House Steer­ing Com­mit­tee names the com­mit­tee’s last mem­ber.

At dead­line, an aide for the mi­nor­ity side of Ways and Means Com­mit­tee had not re­sponded about its ros­ter.

Mean­while, House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) named Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) to suc­ceed Rep. Denny Re­hberg (R-Mont.) as chair­man of the panel’s La­bor, HHS and Ed­u­ca­tion Sub­com­mit­tee. Re­hberg lost his elec­tion for the U.S. Se­nate in Novem­ber.

Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den ad­min­is­ters the Se­nate oath last week to Sen. Sher­rod Brown (D-Ohio).

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