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Trey Gowdy To Replace Chaffetz As Oversight Chairman

| by Robert Fowler

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has been tapped by his GOP colleagues to head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Gowdy will succeed the current chairman, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

On June 8, the Republican Steering Committee voted in favor of Gowdy chairing the HOC when Chaffetz leaves Congress. The current committee chairman is slated to resign on June 30.

"I am grateful to the Steering Committee and the conference as a whole for this opportunity to serve," Gowdy said, according to Fox News. "I look forward to working alongside the other committee members, as well as any member of Congress, as we discharge the jurisdiction assigned to us."

Chaffetz released a statement praising Gowdy's appointment, deeming his colleague "the right person for the job."

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When the Steering Committee began considering candidates to chair the HOC, Gowdy was considered a clear and early front-runner for the position.

"Trey's proven himself over the last several years with the difficult roles he's accepted, and clearly his history and his background perfectly suits him for this chairmanship," Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia told The Washington Post.

Gowdy rose to prominence when he chaired an investigation into the 2011 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. That probe lasted two years, prompting Democratic lawmakers to accuse Gowdy of mounting a partisan attack on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Politico.

On May 18, Chaffetz announced his retirement from Congress. The outgoing HIC chairman asserted that he had never intended to have a long career in public service.

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"I always promised that I would get in, serve, and get out," Chaffetz told CNN. "This is not supposed to be a lifetime appointment."

Chaffetz has been facing intense pressure to use his oversight authority to mount closer investigations into the Trump administration.

An anonymous Utah lawmaker asserted that Chaffetz was planning to elevate his profile by heavily scrutinizing a Clinton administration but had his hopes dashed when Trump won the election.

"As from Trump and Clinton, nobody's fortunes changes more on presidential election night than Jason Chaffetz," the Utah politician told The Atlantic.

On May 13, several House GOP aides disclosed that Chaffetz was planning to enter the field of punditry on Fox News.

"Let's just say that when Jason told us he was headed to Fox, no one was surprised," one senior House GOP aide told the Washingtonian.

 Sources: The Atlantic, CNN (2), Fox News, PoliticoWashingtonian / Photo Credit: United States Congress/Wikimedia Commons

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