Canton Repository

January 11, 2007

Regula set to get new, less powerful financial post

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON Rep. Ralph Regula, the veteran lawmaker who in recent years has been one of the most powerful members of the House Appropriations Committee, has already taken a major hit to his clout as a result of the Democratic takeover of Congress.

Now, as a result of GOP term limits for committee chairmen, he also is losing his post as Republican leader on a high-profile appropriations subcommittee that doles out federal funding for education initiatives, medical research and health care and job training.

Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, has served as chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee for the past six years, which is the maximum.

But Regula, one of the longest-serving Republicans on the committee, will remain one of the appropriations leaders through his proposed assignment as ranking Republican on the newly formed Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.

Regula was reluctant Wednesday to discuss the reassignment, since it was not yet final. But he said the financial services panel was one that he had expressed interest in.

"It's a new subcommittee," he said, noting the Democratic leadership created the panel during a reorganization of the committee. "It has enormous jurisdiction and should be interesting."

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over spending in the Treasury Department, federal courts and District of Columbia, among other federal agencies. It is one of 12 appropriations subcommittees.

The assignment still needs approval from the House Republican Steering Committee, which is anticipated to act on the recommendation as early as today, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-West Chester, said.

Regula indicated he might have another subcommittee assignment but was mum on what it might be.