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New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees

The Senate Armed Services Committee has shaken up its leadership and placed junior members as the heads of several subpanels thanks to a new rule.

Sen. Mark KellyMark KellySenate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation MORE (D-Ariz.) is now chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, taking on the role from Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersSenate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Alarming threat prompts early exit, underscoring security fears MORE (D-Mich.), while Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthFDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Duckworth, Norton call for improved accessibility for the blind at FDR memorial MORE (D-Ill.), will now be the chairwoman of the Airland subcommittee, taking over for Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage Justice Democrats call moderates' votes against minimum wage hike 'unconscionable' MORE (I-Maine), according to a statement from the full committee.

King will move on to be the head of the Strategic Forces subpanel, taking over for Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDemocrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda Democrats offer bill on Puerto Rico statehood USPS adding up to 165K fuel efficient or electric delivery vehicles MORE (D-N.M.), while Peters will lead the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The game of musical chairs was due to a Democratic caucus rule change, adopted two months prior, that is meant to more evenly dole out subcommittee gavels, as first reported by CQ Roll call.
 
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBiden reignites war powers fight with Syria strike Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress Democrats reintroduce gun sale background check legislation MORE (D-Conn.) proposed the rule to make sure that more powerful Democrats on prime committees don’t also head a subcommittee until more junior members are allowed the chance.
 
Both Duckworth and Kelly are military veterans; Duckworth is a former Army helicopter pilot who was wounded in Iraq, while Kelly was a Navy pilot and a NASA astronaut.
 
The new roles are likely to give more clout to the two newer members, as Duckworth has only sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee since 2019 and Kelly, who beat fellow veteran Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra House Freedom Caucus chair weighs Arizona Senate bid New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees MORE (R-Ariz) for his seat in November, was named to the committee earlier this month