The Senate on Thursday officially approved James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, completing a three-step process put into motion to replace John McCain following his death Aug. 25. The change at the top of the committee triggered one other shift as well, with Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) taking the gavel for the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee from Inhofe. Meanwhile Jon Kyl, who was sworn in to fill McCain’s Senate seat, will serve on the Armed Services Committee, reported CQ. … The House will not take any action to bring back earmarks during the current session House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday, postponing a discussion that has been under way since 2011 when House Republicans first imposed a ban on the practice. Ryan said the next Congress likely will tackle the issue and indicated there are legitimate reasons for allowing some earmarks for projects that don’t involve for-profit entities, reported CQ. “The question kind of gets narrowed down to the Army Corps of Engineers and things that are inherently federal in nature,” he said. House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who held a series of hearings about the possibility of restoring “congressionally directed spending” in January, is scheduled to present recommendations to the GOP Conference later this year. Of course if Democrats capture control of the House next year, the prospect of changing the rules will be up to them.
DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber Smith