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Moving Frelinghuysen in tandem to the top Defense spot with Visclosky might smooth the leadership transition, since the two have worked together for several years on the Energy-Water Appropriations panel, an industry source said. They have their “dance steps down,” this source said.
Scott Lilly, a former Democratic staff director and clerk for the Appropriations Committee, said Visclosky already has held meetings in recent weeks with top Pentagon officials to prepare for the job,
Given his industry-heavy district bordering on Lake Michigan, Visclosky is a strong backer of Navy shipbuilding projects and has advocated for the service to the grown the size of its fleet. “He has a real chance to put his stamp on the military.” Lilly said.
Deciding on the leaders of the Defense panel is only one of the decisions about Appropriations Committee spots that leaders in both parties will make after the election.
There’s already a fight underway to replace Dicks in that post, with veteran Defense appropriator Marcy Kaptur of Ohio vying for the post with Nita M. Lowey of New York, who has been the top Democrat on the House spending overseeing foreign operations for more than a decade.
“There will be so much movement that it’s hard to know how it all shakes out,” said Steve Fought, a spokesman for Kaptur. “It’s like a Rubik’s Cube. When you move one thing others move too.”