Monday, December 11, 2006

Regional winners and losers in the 110th Congress

Technical note: You may see several versions of this post over the next few hours, as it is my first attempt to include a table with a post. If it looks weird in your browser, let me know.

The Democrats have nailed down most of their committee assignments for the new Congress. Much has been made of the race and gender of the new chairmen and chairwomen. But what does that tell us about how business will be conducted come January?

Beyond the politics of the individual chairmen, consider the way power shifted regionally.

CommitteeFormer chairmanIncoming chairman
AgingGordon Smith (R-Ore.)Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
Agriculture, Nutrition, and ForestrySaxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
AppropriationsThad Cochran (R-Miss.)Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)
Armed Services CommitteeJohn Warner (R-Va.)Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Banking, Housing, and Urban AffairsRichard Shelby (R-Ala.)Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
BudgetJudd Gregg (R-N.H.)Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
Commerce, Science, and TransportationTed Stevens (R-Alaska)Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Energy and Natural ResourcesPete Domenici (R-N.M.)Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
Environment and Public WorksJames Inhofe (R-Okla.)Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
EthicsCharles Grassley (R-Iowa)Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)
FinanceCharles Grassley (R-Iowa)Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Foreign RelationsPete Domenici (R-N.M.)Joe Biden (D-Del.)
Health, Education, Labor, and PensionsMike Enzi (R-Wyo.)Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Homeland Security & Governmental AffairsSusan Collins (R-Maine)Joe Lieberman (I/D-Conn.)
Indian AffairsJohn McCain (R-Ariz.)Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
IntelligencePat Roberts (R-Kan.)Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
JudiciaryArlen Specter (R-Pa.)Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Rules and AdministrationTrent Lott (R-Miss.)Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Small Business and EntrepreneurshipOlympia Snowe (R-Maine)John Kerry (D-Mass.)
Veterans' AffairsLarry Craig (R-Idaho)Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)

Analysis: Power shifted generally from the middle and South to California, New England and the Upper Midwest. Mississippi and Maine each lost two chairmanships, New Mexico and Iowa broke even, while Hawaii, California, North Dakota, West Virginia, Connecticut and Massachusetts each gained two. The middle South remains shut out.

CommitteeFormer chairmanIncoming chairman
Agriculture Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
AppropriationsJerry Lewis (R-Calif.)David Obey (D-Wis.)*
Armed ServicesDuncan Hunter (R-Calif.)Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)
BudgetJim Nussle (R-Iowa)John Spratt (D-S.C.)
Education and the WorkforceHoward McKeon (R-Calif.)George Miller (D-Calif.)
Energy and CommerceJoe Barton (R-Texas)John Dingell (D-Mich.)
EthicsDoc Hastings (R-Wash.)Howard Berman (D-Calif.)
Financial ServicesMichael Oxley (R-Ohio)Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Government ReformTom Davis (R-Va.)Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.)
Homeland SecurityPeter King (R-N.Y.)Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)
House AdministrationVernon Ehlers (R-Mich.)Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.)
IntelligencePeter Hoekstra (R. Mich.)Silvestre Reyes (D-.N.Y.)
International RelationsHenry Hyde (R-Ill.)Tom Lantos (D-Calif.)
JudiciaryJames Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)John Conyers (D-Mich.)
ResourcesRichard Pombo (R-Calif.)Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)
RulesDavid Dreier (R-Calif.)Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)
ScienceSherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.)Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.)
Small BusinessDonald Manzullo (R-Ill.)Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
Transportation and InfrastructureDon Young (R-Alaska)James Oberstar (D-Minn.)
Veterans' AffairsSteve Buyer (R-Ind.)Bob Filner (D-Calif.)
Ways and MeansBill Thomas (R-Calif.)Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)

Analysis: A more muddied picture, but generally power shifted from Virginia and the Central Midwest -- Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio -- to New England, the Upper Midwest and the South. Alaska, again, lost its only chairmanship. Texas, California, Wisconsin and Michigan broke even; New York went from two to three chairmanships. The West remains entirely shut out.

Looking at specific subject areas, you can predict what sort of legislation will make it out of certain committees in both houses:

Agriculture: Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa) takes over from the South (Georgia, Virginia). Among other things, might the dairy subsidy system (which has long penalized farmers in the Upper Midwest) be in for a reform effort? Also expect efforts to increase tax credits for ethanol production.

Energy: The House chairmanship stays in New Mexico, but the Senate chair shifts from Texas to Michigan. Look for fewer "drill more!" solutions and more emphasis on alternative energy. ANWR will remain untouched.

Transportation: The Alaskan stranglehold that led to such excesses as the "Bridge to Nowhere" is gone, replaced by a Hawaiian and a Minnesotan. Look for a greater emphasis on air travel. Further, with both states sharing large port facilities, expect stepped up efforts on port security and infrastructure.

Anyone see any other patterns of significance? Point 'em out!




Blogger Not Your Mama said...

Biden on Foreign Relations is a frightening concept. Well, to me anyway.

Just my opinion but based on his takes that I've heard...he's completely oblivious to reality.

12/11/2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I hadn't noticed Biden being particularly detached from reality. Here's his five-point plan on Iraq, which tracks nicely with the ISG recommendations.

But I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of Democratic chairpeople find themselves having to take a crash-course in reality.

12/11/2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Not Your Mama said...

I say unreal because the Iraqi's themselves have rejected it putting a damper on implementation.

It could possibly be a great plan if they wanted it or were even remotely willing to consider it, they aren't.

So how does he intend to "make this so"? He/we can't. Ergo, my opinion that we are still in deep denial.

The Iraqi's are done with us.

We're like the husband who never listens to his wife's complaints until she leaves him...then wonder: why did she leave me? We were doing fine.

12/11/2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Fair enough. While I think de facto partition is one of the likely outcomes in Iraq (the other being outright civil war), I agree that it's not realistic or desirable to actively pursue it as a strategy.

12/11/2006 4:39 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

Hey some new blood can be good, especially when it comes to the Republicans cozyness with the Credit reporting industry and this industry’s extreme lack of morals.

But some of these chairs are interesting:

Appropriations; Robert Byrd- The King of Pork, what a choice.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship; John Kerry, Just what small business needs, more arrogance

Government Reform; Henry A. Waxman, That’s like letting the fox guard the hen house.

Carl- My Thoughts

12/11/2006 7:25 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Carl: You must have gotten a kick out of this, then!! :)

12/13/2006 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The power simply shifted to the Blue States and we already knew where they are. This isn't surprising to me at all. Of course, Democrats in the Majority are going to name Democrats to lead the Committees. Why would you be surprised about this power shift?


12/13/2006 6:36 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP5: It's not as simple as that, because it's not like the Congressional districts just up and moved to blue states. Blue states don't have any more representation in Congress than they did before. Red states don't have less.

In the Senate the chairmanships did indeed mostly shift to blue states (though the Dakotas account for three chairmanships and they're far from blue, while Montana and Wisconsin are also not clearly blue).

But in the House the picture was far more mixed -- the South, for instance, had one seat (outside Virginia) under the GOP, and will have 4 under the Dems -- more if you count West Virginia and Missouri as southern. And classic blue states like California, New York and Michigan merely broke even.

12/13/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Further, it's not so much that the shifts are surprising as what does it mean? Which states are the winners? Not all blue states won, and not all red states lost.

12/13/2006 8:55 PM  

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