Election 2020

Senate Policy Chairman Barrasso Picked to Head GOP Platform Committee

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee member Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) looks through papers on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The fourth-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate will chair the committee that drafts the GOP platform at the Republican National Convention in Columbus.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus announced today that Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman who “would support” presumptive nominee Donald Trump releasing his tax returns and has stressed to the candidate that “tone matters” in the campaign, will lead the committee.

His co-chairs will be Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).

Barrasso told CNN last week that “the issue of tone did come up” in a meeting with Trump on Capitol Hill.

“Tone matters in the campaign,” Barrasso said. “This is going to be about jobs, the economy, what direction our country needs to take. What we’ve seen under Barack Obama and a growth in the economy of 1 to 2 percent, that can’t be the new normal for our country.”

He said the meeting with Trump was “encouraging” and the billionaire businessman “never interrupted anyone.”

Separately, CNN asked Barrasso if Trump should release his tax returns.

“Well, I’m always one that supports transparency, but he’s going to have to make that decision,” the senator replied. “But I would support that.”

Priebus said of the platform committee leaders: “I know they will bring their good judgment and a principled vision for our Party and our country into this role. Writing the platform is a critical task, and as we enter one of the most important elections of our lifetime, our Party is eager to lead an American resurgence by standing on our commitment to life, individual liberty, a strong national defense, and an economy that works for all Americans.”

Barrasso said the committee, which will be stocked with one male and one female representative from each state and U.S. territory, “represents the grassroots of our party from all different backgrounds and all walks of life.”

“We are going to listen to Republican Party voters to craft a conservative platform that embodies our principles and what we believe as a party,” the senator said. “The last eight years have been terrible for hardworking Americans. We know our platform will represent the fundamental change voters are demanding for a stronger America and success in November.”