House GOP addresses its “only white male committee chairs” problem

Republicans currently have one female committee chair -- and she's stepping down

Topics: Republicans, U.S. House of Representatives, House Administration Committee, Candice Miller, Michigan,

House GOP addresses its "only white male committee chairs" problem Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich. (Credit: Facebook/CongresswomanCandiceMiller)

House Republicans responded to criticism that they were only appointing white, male committee chairs by bringing a woman into the mix: Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., who will head the House Administrations Committee.

Earlier this week, various news outlets pointed out that Republicans had tapped 19 white men to head up the committees in the next session. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is currently the only female Republican committee chair, and she’ll be stepping down from her post.

The Washington Post reports:

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So Boehner turned to Miller, a five-term lawmaker who lost a bid to lead the House Homeland Security Committee earlier in the week. Miller gets the admin job even though Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) had more seniority and was angling for the position.

“From ensuring the House runs efficiently and smoothly, to making Congress more open and accessible, Candice has a big job ahead as chairman of the House Administration Committee,” Boehner said in a statement Friday.

The Post points out that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., who is now chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, is the fourth-ranking House Republican.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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