Rep. K. Michael Conaway will chair the House Ethics Committee during the 113th Congress, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Monday. The four-term Texas Republican is a certified public accountant and has served on the committee since 2009.
“Mike has all the tools to be an effective Ethics Committee chairman: he is well-respected on both sides of the aisle; he has led investigations of public officials in the past; and he understands the importance of both education and enforcement of the rules,” Boehner said in a statement. “The American people have every right to expect the highest standards of conduct from their elected officials, and I’m confident that under Mike’s leadership the Ethics Committee will continue to be a guardian of their trust and a guarantor of accountability in the people’s House.”
Boehner also announced that Republican Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, and Rep.-elect Susan W. Brooks of Indiana will serve as committee members. Dent and Conaway are the only Republicans returning to the committee.
Until Monday, the Ethics Committee was the only panel without a named chairman, following the announcement of the other panels’ leaders earlier this month.
Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., is returning as the committee’s ranking member. Other Democrats on the panel have not yet been named. One of the committee’s first orders of business is a scheduled announcement in two matters related to Reps. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and Aaron Schock, R-Ill., that were referred by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The committee will disclose its next steps in those cases by Jan. 28.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.