Towns Replaces Waxman as Oversight Chairman
House Democrats approved Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) as the new chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, replacing Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) after his successful coup last month for the Energy and Commerce gavel. The majority party also handed out coveted slots on three of four exclusive House committees. The Ways and Means Committee is getting five new members: Reps. Danny Davis (Ill.), Bob Etheridge (N.C.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.) and John Yarmuth (Ky.). Eight Democrats are joining the Energy and Commerce Committee: Reps. Bruce Braley (Iowa), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands), Jerry McNerney (Calif.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), John Sarbanes (Md.), Zack Space (Ohio) and Betty Sutton (Ohio). Reps. Lincoln Davis (Tenn.) and John Salazar (Colo.) won seats on the Appropriations Committee.