McKeon wins Education Chair

The House Republican Steering Committee yesterday chose Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

Boehner was elected majority leader last week. McKeon, who after Boehner left was the second highest-ranking GOP member on the panel, has been a longtime Boehner ally. He leapfrogged over Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), the highest-ranking member on the panel after Boehner’s departure, to win the post.

Newly elected Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) has won seats on the Financial Services, Budget and Veterans’ Affairs committees. Campbell spokesman Myal Greene said his boss’s subcommittee assignments had yet to be determined.

Campbell won the seat vacated by Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.), who resigned in November after he was indicted and admitted to taking millions in bribes.

Campbell, a certified public accountant with 25 years of business experience, had been angling for the Financial Services committee from the beginning, Greene said.

Hastert made the announcement after the Steering Committee met and voted on several new committee choices.

“I’m pleased to see John join these committees and expect he will be a valuable addition to each,” House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said in a statement. “His background as a CPA makes him natural fit for Financial Services and the Budget Committee, and his desire to serve those who have served us makes him an ideal selection for Veterans’ Affairs.”

One of his priorities on the Budget Committee is “helping restore responsible spending to Washington,” Campbell said in a statement.

Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was reappointed to the Appropriations Committee. Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) assigned DeLay to the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Subcommittee as well as the homeland-security panel.

Just before the Steering Committee formally reappointed DeLay to the Appropriations Committee, Lewis told The Hill when asked what subcommittees DeLay would join that “he and I have not yet discussed it, but we will.”

He added that he would call DeLay “soon after the Steering Committee made its decision.”

When asked whether he would name DeLay to the science subcommittee, Lewis said: “I haven’t even considered it.”

Shortly after the Steering Committee meeting, the Appropriations Committee announced DeLay’s assignments, decisions Lewis is responsible for making.

To accommodate DeLay, Lewis switched several members to different subcommittees. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) will leave the science panel and move to the Defense Subcommittee, a much-coveted spot left vacant by Cunningham. LaHood will keep his assignment on the Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Ind.) will fill the other spot left open by Cunningham’s resignation, on the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee. To do that, he has been taken off the Military Quality of Life Subcommittee. Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) will serve on that panel.

Patrick O’Connor contributed to this article.