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New House Chairmen to Scrutinize Fed, Roll Back FinReg, Call on EPA to ‘Stand Down’

Come January, new GOP leaders will chair important House committees. Some have promised to repeal "job killing provisions," questioned the "activist Fed," and expressed skepticism about the causes of climate change.

After the midterm election, we noted that the power shift in the House of Representatives would mean new leaders on powerful House committees. The results are in—House Republican leaders have made their decisions—and in January these incoming chairmen will take their new posts.

As expected, Darrell Issa took the chairmanship for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. We’ve noted that Issa has tried to allay fears that he will initiate partisan investigations. In an interview today on Bloomberg, the California Republican expressed concerns about the Federal Reserve becoming “much more of an activist Fed” and said he expects Elizabeth Warren, the president’s top adviser for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to testify before his committee when asked.

Rep. Spencer Bachus will succeed Democratic Rep. Barney Frank as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Bachus, who has criticized the financial reform bill’s “job killing provisions,” stuck to the same message upon winning approval as chairman:

We are committed to going title by title through the 2,300 page Dodd-Frank Act to correct, replace, or repeal the job killing provisions that unnecessarily punish small businesses and community banks that did nothing to cause the financial crisis.

For the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton took the chairmanship over Rep. Joe Barton, the lawmaker who once apologized to BP for a “shakedown” by the Obama administration.

While the outcome for this chairmanship was somewhat of a toss-up, we noted that the new chairman’s positions on energy issues were never really in question. Upton has long argued that regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission and others is “smothering the economy.”

He’s also “pro-nuclear,” in favor of “clean coal” and unconvinced about causes of climate change, reported the Kalamazoo Gazette. Upton has joined the oil industry’s largest lobbying group in calling for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to be opened up for drilling, and upon being named the incoming chairman, he issued a statement calling for the EPA to “stand down altogether” from tightening ozone restrictions and “any action that will further hamstring our fragile economy.”

One incoming chairman who we didn’t profile the first time around is Rep. Hal Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who will chair the House Appropriations Committee. The Wall Street Journal noted today that Rogers was once dubbed the “Prince of Pork” for his reputation for aggressively pursuing earmarks. Though he’s stated that he supports the House GOP’s recent earmark ban, the Journal notes that some fiscal conservatives are not convinced.

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