From the Los Angeles Times:
They want to repeal the healthcare overhaul, pare back financial regulations, slash federal spending and curtail the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency. In essence, they want to challenge the agenda of the Obama administration at every turn.
The new GOP chairmen of key House committees such as Appropriations, Budget, Energy and Commerce, and Oversight and Government Reform believe they have a mandate to check the size and scope of government.
The new speaker, Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio, has pledged to return the House to “regular order,” which in his mind means granting the committees and their chairmen more power to craft legislation. By contrast, under outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leadership regularly wrote bills that were then presented to the caucus for an up-and-down vote as a finished product.
If Boehner is true to his word, then bills may move more slowly through the House, with greater input from the rank-and-file.
Obama’s chief antagonist may be Rep. Darrell Issa (R- Vista), who will chair the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Issa has promised not to use the position to mount grandstanding investigations into political arcana, such as subpoenaing the president’s birth certificate, but will instead use his committee to try to uncover fraud and waste within the federal government.
But Issa made it clear that Obama’s legislative accomplishments are a ripe target.
“After a trillion-dollar stimulus that didn’t create jobs, a trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and a trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul, the American people believe we need more oversight, not less,” he said in an interview.
Here is a look at some of the incoming House chairmen and where their legislative outlook may bring them into conflict with the president:
Chairman: Harold Rogers of Kentucky
Coming flashpoints: Once an earnest defender of earmarks and derided as “the Prince of Pork” by Democrats, Rogers has vowed to change his ways and abide by a GOP-imposed ban on the practice. Rogers will be a point man on federal spending and is charged with cutting $100 billion from Obama’s budget for the current fiscal year. He may also work to choke off funding for the healthcare overhaul and other newly passed federal initiatives.
Chairman: Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin
Coming flashpoints: Ryan is a true budget hawk, drawing up a blueprint last year for entitlement reform that involved partially privatizing Social Security and doing away with Medicare in its current form.
Education and Labor
Chairman: John Kline of Minnesota
Coming flashpoints: Kline will oversee reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act — a crown jewel of the George W. Bush administration — and may propose some radical changes, which may put Democrats in the position of defending the work of a Republican president. Kline favors rolling back federal mandates for testing students and eliminating any national standards for accountability, preferring instead to allow local districts to have more control over curriculum.
Energy and Commerce
Chairman: Fred Upton of Michigan
Coming flashpoints: As chairman of a committee with one of the most sweeping jurisdictions in the House, Upton will be working to stymie two Obama administration priorities: healthcare reform and climate change. He has vowed to pass a repeal of the healthcare law and has called the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions a “power grab.” He also opposes the so-called net neutrality rules recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, which enable the FCC to intervene if Internet service providers are accused of unfair practices.
Chairman: Spencer Bachus of Alabama
Coming flashpoints: Bachus has pledged to carve away at the massive financial regulatory overhaul bill passed in 2010 and recently was criticized for telling an Alabama newspaper that banking regulators “are here to serve the banks.”
Chairwoman: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida
Coming flashpoints: Ros-Lehtinen is a staunch supporter of Israel and opposes aid to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She takes a hard opposing line on efforts to end the embargo against Cuba.
Chairman: Peter T. King of New York
Coming flashpoints: King wants to push for a crackdown on illegal immigration from Mexico, saying the Obama administration hasn’t done enough to improve border security, and seeks tougher sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants. He has vowed to hold hearings on the “radicalization” of Muslims in the United States […]
Chairman: Lamar Smith of Texas
Coming flashpoints: Like King, Smith wants to be aggressive in stopping illegal immigration. Defying conventional political wisdom, he has argued that Latino voters favor such a stance. Smith opposes closing the prison for accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and is expected to regularly call Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to the Hill to grill him over national security issues.
Oversight and Government Reform
Chairman: Darrell Issa of California
Coming flashpoints: […] Issa […] has said that he wants to pursue […] bureaucratic targets, such as the implementation of the healthcare overhaul, the powers of the Federal Reserve, and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Issa once called Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”
Ways and Means
Chairman: Dave Camp of Michigan
Coming flashpoints: As chairman of the panel that writes tax policy, Camp also will be on the forefront of repealing the healthcare overhaul. But his real passion lies in overhauling and simplifying the tax code. There, he could possibly find a partner in President Obama, who has made reforming the code a near-term priority.