Frelinghuysen in line to take over Defense appropriations panel

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) is in line to become the next House Appropriations Defense panel chairman now that Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) has died, according to defense and congressional sources.

Frelinghuysen had the inside track to take over the Defense subpanel in the next Congress before Young passed away, and remains the likely sucessor, according to a defense lobbyist with knowledge of the deliberations.

Young, who died Friday as the longest-serving Republican in the House after 22 terms in Congress, had received a waiver to remain as chairman of the defense panel for two consecutive terms after his six-year limit was up.

While Frelinghuysen has served the longest among Republicans on the Defense subpanel, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), another member of the Defense panel, has more experience on the full committee.

Kingston is running for Senate, however, and a House GOP aide said he is not expected to seek the chairmanship.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) also has more seniority on the full Appropriations panel, but he has not served on the Defense subpanel.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) will select Young’s successor, which must be approved by the House GOP steering committee.

Another House GOP aide said the selection is often based on seniority, but there is no rule requiring it. No timeline has been determined yet for naming a new chairman, according to the aide.

The House will be in recess on Thursday in order to allow lawmakers to attend Young’s funeral.