Senate Republicans shake up roster on Commerce panel

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the most recent ranking member of the committee, and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) both retired from the Senate at the end of the 112th Congress. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who was poised to succeed Hutchison as the committee's ranking member, resigned from the Senate last month to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Sens. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonFrustrated Republicans accuse Paul of forcing pointless shutdown Budget deal is brimming with special tax breaks House funding bill includes bipartisan Medicare reforms MORE (R-Ga.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanSenate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Dems go on the attack during EPA chief's hearing Bipartisan group of senators ask Trump to fund broadband in infrastructure plan MORE (R-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will not return to the Commerce Committee.

In addition, Cruz will join his freshman colleague Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party 'heading into trouble' in election MORE (R-Ariz.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee after Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) retired at the end of the session. Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPaul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare MORE (R-Okla.) will not be returning to the panel.

Senate Republicans said the committee assignments are pending ratification by the GOP conference and the full Senate.