House Energy Committee Republicans name new counsel

Bloomquist served as the general counsel to the debt supercommittee, which failed in November to reach a bipartisan agreement to cut the deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to Pentagon and civilian spending programs.

He has his work cut out for him. Committee Republicans are working to overturn President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and considering charging the White House with contempt of Congress over a subpoena for Solyndra documents the panel issued last year.

Upton praised Barnette’s work on the committee.

“We fought to create jobs, shrink the size and scope of the federal government, and protect individual liberty, and at every step of the way, Jim was there as a trusted counselor and fierce advocate for the principles that make this nation great,” he said.