Honkified By Design

Those who have been breathlessly following all the intra-Republican discussions about diversifying the party’s appeal beyond white men should take note that all 19 House committee chairmanships announced for the next Congress were awarded to white men. There are two remaining chairs not yet announced, but since they both have no women or minority members on them, it’s reasonably safe to assume they’ll be occupied by white men as well.

That’s all the more remarkable because House Republicans have been for years less inclined to follow a strict seniority system in assigning chairmanships than Democrats. Indeed, the one woman chairing a committee in the present Congress–Ileana Ros-Lehtinen–is stepping down because of the GOP Caucus’ term limits on chairmanships.

So the unusually honkified cast of characters running the House in the next two years was chosen by design more than accident. Some outreach.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.