Bill Johnson

Steve Womack Poised to Become House Budget Chairman
Republican Steering Committee chooses Arkansas lawmaker for post

Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack was recommended for Budget chairman by the Republican Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arkansas Republican Steve Womack is poised to be the next House Budget Committee chairman after the Republican Steering Committee Tuesday evening recommended him over two other candidates for the post.

The Steering Committee’s choice of Womack over Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Bill Johnson of Ohio still needs to be ratified by the full House Republican Conference before it becomes official, but the conference traditionally accepts the Steering panel’s recommendations. The ratification will occur during the next conference meeting, which will either be this Thursday or next Wednesday.

Budget Chairman Race: Three Candidates, Few Differences
Republican Steering Committee meets Tuesday to recommend Diane Black’s replacement

From left, Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Bill Johnson of Ohio, and Steve Womack of Arkansas are vying to be the next House Budget chairman. The Republican Steering Committee will meet Tuesday to make its recommendation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Three Republican congressman elected in 2010 who want Congress to overhaul mandatory spending programs and believe they have the consensus-building skills to make it happen are all competing to be the next House Budget chairman. 

The three-way race between Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio has largely been conducted behind the scenes as the candidates have reached out to colleagues on the Republican Steering Committee.

Steering Panel to Meet Next Week on Next House Budget Chairman
Three candidates in the running as Diane Black steps aside

The GOP Steering Committee will meet Jan. 9 to pick a successor for outgoing Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Republican Steering Committee plans to meet Jan. 9 to consider three candidates for the next Budget chairman, GOP aides said.

Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio are vying to succeed Diane Black, who is stepping down from the position to concentrate on her campaign for governor in Tennessee.

Black to Give Up Top Budget Slot, Focus on Governor’s Race
Competition expected for House Budget gavel

After announcing her gubernatorial bid in August, many expected Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., to step aside after the fiscal 2018 budget resolution was adopted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she plans to step aside as House Budget chairwoman to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.

The Tennessee Republican announced that she will remain in Congress, but will give up her gavel as soon as the GOP Steering Committee picks, and the Republican Conference ratifies, her successor.

On Debt Reduction, GOP Says Wait Till Next Year
Oft-cited deficit concerns thrown by the wayside for fiscal 2018 budget

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is focused on using the budget process to rewrite the tax code, but hasn’t yet committed on what to use the next budget resolution for. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite years of calling for reducing the federal debt, House Republicans are voting Thursday on a budget that doesn’t balance and that calls for adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit to finance a tax overhaul. And most of them are fine with that.

Why? Primarily because the fiscal 2018 budget resolution is the vehicle needed to set up the fast-track process for rewriting the tax code and not letting Senate Democrats filibuster the bill. But Republicans say they plan to use that same budget reconciliation process again next year to start chipping away at the deficit.

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.

Bernie Sanders, the Man With Single-Payer Clout
Vermont independent continues to direct the future of national Democratic Party

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders bashed special interest groups when introducing the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The seismic shift in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to transform the U.S. health care system into a single-payer program indicates the reach the Vermont independent has within the Democratic Party.

At the same time that his onetime presidential foe Hillary Clinton is reminding people of the party’s devastating loss last fall, Sanders is trying to define its future. His bill to enroll every American in Medicare drew 16 co-sponsors, 16 more than when he first introduced similar legislation in 2013.

Word on the Hill: Franken’s ‘SNL’ Friends on Franken vs. Trump
Stabenow makes rounds, Cruz award, Johnson shows flexibility, Biden’s book and Scalia event

Dana Carvey, left, Kevin Nealon, second from left, and Sen. Al Franken, right, mock the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings (with Phil Hartman, center, and Chris Farley) on “Saturday Night Live” in 1991. (NBC Universal)

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., could give President Donald Trump a run for his money. Or at least fellow “Saturday Night Live” alums Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey think so.

“Will Al Franken run for president?” Nealon asks Carvey on his Twitter video series “Hiking With Kevin.”

Tax Overhaul Path Unclear Amid Budget Chair's Expected Departure
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 28

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that is key to a tax overhaul remains uncertain as House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black is expected to resign to run for governor of Tennessee, say CQ Roll Call's House leadership reporter Lindsey McPherson and budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

Leading contenders to replace Black include GOP Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio. Meanwhile, Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Tom McClintock of California could also make the list if they decide to seek the post.

Diane Black Will Need to Resign Budget Chairmanship or Seek Waiver
Tennessee Republican is running for governor

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black is running for governor and may have to give up her Budget Committee chairwomanship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Diane Black may have to step down as Budget Committee chairwoman now that the Tennessee Republican is running for governor of her home state, but who will want to take the gavel of a panel whose primary work product has run into major roadblocks for two years in a row?

Black, the first woman to chair the Budget Committee, has only held the gavel for eight months. She replaced Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who was chairman for just two years before President Donald Trump tapped him to be his Health and Human Services secretary.