Leadership changes in the 114th Congress

PDF versionPDF version

November 4, 2014

Midterm congressional elections took place on Tuesday, November 4, resulting in a number of committee leadership changes for both Democrats and Republicans.  The incoming Senate, which previously held a Democratic majority, will be controlled by Republicans, and the Republicans also increased their majority in the House of Representatives. The new majority within the Senate means that across the board changes to committee leadership are imminent in the 114th Congress.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (ENR): Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will replace Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) as chair of ENR. Sen. Landrieu lost her bid for reelection in a December 6 runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Consequently, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is expected to replace Sen. Landrieu as ranking member of the committee.

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee (CST): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is expected to take over the chairmanship from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) for the Science and Space Subcommittee within CST. The Space and Science Subcommittee oversees federal science research funding. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) will take over from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) as chair of the full CST committee.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW): Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is likely to transition from ranking member of EPW to chair of the full committee. Former chair, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), is expected to stay on the committee as ranking member.

Senate Appropriations Committee: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) will likely take over as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the 114th Congress. Current Ranking Member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to transition to the Senate Banking Committee. Former Appropriations Chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will transition to Ranking Member of the committee.

House Natural Resources Committee: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, will retire at the end of the 113th Congress, leaving a key vacancy for Republicans. Additionally, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is expected to relinquish his role on the Natural Resources Committee in favor of the ranking member position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) will take over from Rep. Hastings, and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) will take over from Rep. DeFazio.

Sources: House Natural Resources Committee, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee