Monday, March 06, 2006

Chairman of Ways and Means Retires

Representative Bill Thomas(R-CA) announced that he will retire next year, rather than run for a 15th term.

Thomas, a relatively moderate conservative, serves in a fiercely right-leaning district that will likely replace him with a fellow Republican.

It will be interesting to see who gets to chair the committee now that Thomas is gone. The chairmanship of Ways and Means is possibly the most coveted position outside of the partyship in the House. The committee determines policy on taxes, tariffs, soical welfare programs, as well as the national debt. The Chairman wields enourmous power in determining which programs will thrive and which will starve, who's getting tax breaks (or tax exempt status) and dispenses numerous public works contracts.


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