New chairs named for House, Senate spending panels

By Andres Picon | 04/10/2024 06:29 AM EDT

Rep. Tom Cole will lead the House Appropriations Committee. Sen. Patty Murray remains chair of the Energy-Water Subcommittee.

Tom Cole listens on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) in January. He has an 8 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Rep. Tom Cole, a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, is poised to become the new chair of that panel as it begins work on what will likely be another fraught battle over federal spending.

At the same time, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will be remain chair of a Senate subcommittee dealing with Department of Energy and water spending issues. She is also chair of the Appropriations Committee.

The House Republican Steering Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, for the top spot on the spending panel, moving to replace retiring Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas) and elevating a widely respected conservative voice to lead one of Congress’ most influential committees.


Cole — currently the panel’s vice chair and the chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development — was the only lawmaker running for the job. The full House Republican conference is expected to confirm Cole as Appropriations chair Wednesday morning.