House Budget, Appropriations panels to get new leadership

Current House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) lost his bid for a 15th term Tuesday night to state Sen. Mick Mulvaney, so his top spot will open up.

An easy 12-point victory for Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D) puts her next in line to become the Budget panel's ranking member.  

The House Appropriations Committee will get a new chairman in either California Rep. Jerry Lewis, the current ranking member, or second-in-line Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). 

Lewis plans to ask for a waiver to lead the committee because he has served three terms — or six years — as either chairman or ranking member, a limit based on party rules, according to a committee aide.

The House Republican Steering Committee, led by presumed future Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), can grant the 76-year-old Lewis the waiver he seeks to run the committee. 

Without the waiver, 72-year-old Rogers, who has served in Congress for 30 years, will probably take over. He received a waiver last year to serve as the ranking member on the panel's subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Lewis has vowed to set spending back to fiscal 2008 levels to save approximately $100 billion next year, and he has backed an earmark moratorium pushed by his party's leadership. 

On the Senate side, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) will continue his tenure as Appropriations chairman after winning reelection on Tuesday. His counterpart, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is expected to remain the ranking member. 

On the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) also is expected to keep his spot as chairman of the panel. 

He'll see a new ranking member, most likely Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who will take over following the retirement of Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) will trade out with Sessions to become ranking member on Senate Judiciary Committee.