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McKeon tapped for committee seat

An appointee hasn’t failed to achieve confirmation in years

Posted: June 9, 2009 9:47 p.m.
Updated: June 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon cleared another hurdle Tuesday in his bid to be the ranking Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Republican Steering Committee tapped McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) to replace Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) as the Armed Services Committee's ranking Republican on Tuesday.

McHugh vacated his seat on the committee after President Barack Obama picked him to serve as Secretary of the Army on June 2.

All that's left between McKeon and the top Republican spot on the committee is a vote by the Republican Conference Committee, said Lindsey Mask, McKeon's press secretary.

There is no set date for the Conference Committee vote, but a source close to the appointment said a committee appointee hasn't failed to achieve confirmation in more than a decade.

McKeon and his aides rejoiced at the news that the steering committee choice for the Armed Services Committee.

"I'm looking forward to taking the reins as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, to ensure Republicans have a strong voice at the table on major national security and defense issues," McKeon said.

Mask noted McKeon's 14 years of experience on the Armed Services Committee.

Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio), who voted in favor of McKeon on House Steering Committee, applauded the Congressman's commitment to military personnel. "McKeon has distinguished himself as one of the House's most important voices on behalf of our men and women in uniform, and I congratulate him on his selection to this important post," Boehner said.

If McKeon is confirmed this week, he will step into ranking member slot in time for the Armed Services Committee to consider the National Defense Authorization Act, the largest single piece of legislation the committee examines each year, Mask said.

The bill authorizes military funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

If confirmed, McKeon listed a missile defense system among his priorities as Armed Services Committee ranking member.

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