House Republicans Fill Their Ranks

House Republicans elected several new committee ranking members today, but the most important move was forcing disgraced Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) to give up his spot atop the Natural Resources Committee.

As RedState reported earlier today, Republican Leader John Boehner informed Young that he would not support his candidacy, sealing his fate. It’s too bad Boehner didn’t take the same tough stance against earmark-addicted Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who was reelected later in the day as ranking member on the Appropriations Committee.

In other races, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), supporter of the Big Three bailout, will replace retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) as the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee. Camp faced Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), who was a conservative favorite for his tough talk about corrupt Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and desire to reform the tax code and address entitlements.

Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), one of just three Republicans left from the Empire State, won the top spot on the Armed Services Committee. McHugh faced conservative Reps. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.). Thornberry’s loss and Herger’s defeat were the biggest disappointments of the day for conservatives.

As expected, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) will take over as ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, an improvement from retiring moderate Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). And on Financial Services, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) survived a rumored “no confidence” vote, meaning he’ll continue to face off against Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on bailout mania.

Now that ranking members have been selected, the Republican Steering Committee will begin deliberating which members sit on the committees. The one to follow is Rep. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) attempt to secure a spot on the Appropriations Committee. With Lewis remaining at the helm, conservatives need an anti-earmark crusader to fight for fiscal responsibility. Sign the petition at MakeItFlake.com.