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Gowdy to Take Gavel at House Oversight Committee

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will take over the gavel at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) prepares to resign from Congress at the end of the month.

The House Steering Committee picked Gowdy today; the selection is expected to be ratified by the House Republican Conference next week.

“Oversight is constitutionally authorized and important to ensure branch integrity and equilibrium, which is, in part, why other Standing Committees have subcommittees dedicated to providing oversight and all other Standing Committees have oversight responsibilities,” the former prosecutor said in a statement. “The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is also responsible for recommending and implementing reform initiatives calculated to improve government efficiency, transparency and efficacy. I look forward to working alongside the other committee members, as well as any member of Congress, as we discharge the jurisdiction assigned to us.”

Chaffetz called Gowdy “the right person for the job.”

“He has a long history of demanding accountability, upholding transparency, and relentlessly pursuing the truth. Under his capable leadership, the committee will continue to work towards ensuring effectiveness and efficiency throughout the federal government. As his friend and colleague, I have every confidence in his abilities moving forward,” he said.

The Steering Committee passed on Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) to replace Chaffetz as chairman. The Utah congressman thanked Russell “for throwing his hat in the ring.”

“He has loyally served this country first in the U.S. Army, and now in his current capacity representing the people of Oklahoma. I have high expectations of the contributions he can make going forward,” Chaffetz added.

A Democrat on the Oversight Committee, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, expressed cautious optimism about Gowdy’s past respect for D.C. home rule. “While Chairman Gowdy may face pressure from interest groups to overturn D.C. laws, his record makes me hopeful that he will stick to his principles and prior approach,” Norton said. “Trey Gowdy has been an open-minded and fair member when it comes to D.C. I look forward to meeting with him to discuss areas that we can work together during this Congress.”

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said he looks forward to working with Gowdy “in a constructive and bipartisan manner on an agenda that serves the interests of the American people.”

Cummings also congratulated Chaffetz for “a major accomplishment as chairman, which is establishing a new and productive working relationship among our members and staff.”

“He worked hard to identify and promote work that all members could support, he initiated our ongoing Russia investigation, and he operated the committee in a respectful manner even when we disagreed,” the panel’s top Dem added.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) took a dig at Gowdy’s ever-evolving mane in a congratulatory statement to his home state colleauge. “Congressional oversight is a key component of ensuring our government works for the people; no one works harder and is more committed to the truth and the rule of law than Trey. I know he will continue to serve the people of South Carolina and the United States well in this new role,” Scott said. “Now, if we could only get to the bottom of his hair, we will truly be getting somewhere.”