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 Isakson (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will not return to the Commerce Committee.

In addition, Cruz will join his freshman colleague Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee after Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) retired at the end of the session. Sen. Tom Coburn (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.