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Mica Names New GOP Transpo Committee Members, Rahall Officially Top Dem

Update: We just learned that Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) has been confirmed as the new Ranking Member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure just got a bunch of new members.

Incoming Chair John Mica (R-FL) announced the Republican picks today. "The Committee and its new Republican Members will be at the forefront of cutting government waste and red tape and finding cost effective solutions for getting our country moving in the right direction,” said Mica.

The new Committee Republicans, in alphabetical order, are:

Chip Cravaack, who ousted Jim Oberstar in Minnesota and is now taking a seat on the T & I Committee, driving his "War Wagon". Image from Cravaack's ##http://www.facebook.com/cravaackforcongress?ref=search##Facebook## page
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Lou Barletta (PA)
Larry Bucshon (IN)
Chip Cravaack (MN)
Rick Crawford (AR)
Jeff Denham (CA)
Blake Farenthold (TX)
Stephen Fincher (TN)
Bob Gibbs (OH)
Frank Guinta (NH)
Richard Hanna (NY)
Andy Harris (MD)
Jaime Herrera (WA)
Randy Hultgren (IL)
Jeff Landry (LA)
James Lankford (OK)
Billy Long (MO)
Tom Reed (NY)
Jim Renacci (OH)Tim Scott (SC)
Daniel Webster (FL)

If Chip Cravaack's name looks familiar, it's because he's the guy who defeated Jim Oberstar in the November election. Now coming onto the Transportation Committee, Cravaack says he wants to eliminate the deficit by limiting spending; one pot of funding that he calls unnecessary is for bike trails.

Lou Barletta's father owned a road construction company, and he himself co-founded his own construction firm, Interstate Road Marking Corp., before becoming mayor of Hazelton, PA.

Mica says he plans to announce subcommittee assignments in January.

Democrats started out the last session with 45 members on the T & I Committee, compared to 30 seats for the Republicans. These 20 new Republican members will make for a healthy Republican majority on the committee.

Meanwhile, the Democrats just confirmed Rep. Nick Rahall as the top Democrat on the committee. No other Democratic committee members were named, as far as we know. We don't know yet if they'll have to drop members from the committee or if the committee lost enough Democrats through election losses.

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