There are three Republican Congressional Members that are positioning themselves to take the top spot on their side of the aisle for the House Armed Services Committee. They are Representative John McHugh (New York-23), Representative Roscoe Bartlett (Maryland-6), and Representative Mac Thornberry (Texas-13). McHugh is the most senior member member on the committe and that goes a long way, especially in the Republican Caucus, and for that reason he has to be considered the front-runner. Bartlett is third in senority on the committee and Thornberry is the low man on the senority totem-pole amongst the three. All three have been fairly quiet about the post and each is meeting privately with other members of the Caucus and each will meet with the Republican Steering Committee. The Steering Committe has 33 votes and one needs 17 for a favorable rating. The Republican Caucus will have to ratify any decision the Steering Committee makes. The post has been one of bipartisanship in recent years, but it makes sense that the Republicans might want someone who would tow the party line a little harder in the upcoming Congress so as to show the clear differences between Republicans and Democrats on military policy and wars.
My two cents: Indiana_Patriot supports Rep. Mac Thornberry for Ranking Minority Member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a true Conservative who came to Congress in the 1994 Republican Revolution. He has worked hard on defense and homeland security issues and he has championed missile defense as well as called for better coordination of military space programs. Finally he has a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 95% that eclipses the other two with Bartlett at 93% and McHugh at 74%.
Article Link: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/three-battle-to-lead-gop–on-house-military-panel-2008-12-08.html