Rob Woodall Doubles Down in Budget Chairmanship Race

Georgia Republican vying with two others for gavel

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall hopes to succeed Tennessee Rep. Diane Black as chairman of the House Budget Committee. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rob Woodall is all-in in the race to succeed House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, if and when she steps down.

“Absolutely,” the George Republican said when asked if he will compete for the top spot when Black leaves the chairmanship. Black is running for governor of Tennessee next year, though she has not yet said when she plans to leave her position at the Budget panel.

In an interview, Woodall said he still hoped Black would remain as chairwoman. But he said he has talked individually with members of the House GOP Steering Committee about his interest in chairing the panel.

The Steering Committee votes to recommend the next Budget chairman, who is typically then approved by the full GOP conference. Woodall also said he plans to make a presentation to the Steering Committee, along with other hopefuls for the post, when the chairmanship opens up.

Woodall expressed interest in the post after Black announced she would eventually step down. But he has maintained a lower profile than his competitors until now.

Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio are also competing for the position. Womack and Johnson have both talked with members of the Steering Committee and leaders and remain in the race.

Black is expected to relinquish the chairmanship when the fiscal 2018 budget resolution she wrote is adopted, but the timing remains unclear. The House adopted its version of the budget Oct. 5, and the Senate is expected to consider its budget resolution this week. If the Senate adopts its version this week, a conference to reconcile the two versions would quickly follow.

Woodall ranks ahead of Womack and Johnson in seniority on the Budget Committee, on which he has served since 2011, the beginning of his first term in Congress. The gregarious Woodall also serves on the Rules and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

Seniority plays a role in selecting chairmen but is not decisive.

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