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Michael McCaul

Michael McCaul seeks waiver for another term atop Foreign Affairs

News: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is seeking a waiver to serve another two years as the top Republican on the panel.

As we reported last week, a cadre of Foreign Affairs Republicans are jockeying to take control of the committee next Congress. But McCaul told us this week that he doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

The Texas Republican has played an influential role as chair this Congress in shepherding the massive foreign aid supplemental through the House. And McCaul has sparred with the far-right of the conference on whether to provide assistance to Ukraine.

“I’ve built up experience and the relationships with foreign leaders, so different from other committees, and I think with the world on fire, it’s not the right time to change horses,” McCaul said.

McCaul added that he would be “a strong ally” for former President Donald Trump if he wins in November.

McCaul has an interesting argument for a waiver that may not hold water among the Steering Committee. “It’s my third term, but two years as ranking member doesn’t really equate to chairman,” McCaul said.

This has not been a persuasive argument for the Steering Committee in the past. House GOP rules say explicitly that “[n]o individual shall serve more than three consecutive terms as chair or Ranking Member.” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who’s enjoyed an extended stint atop the House Education and Workforce Committee, is an exception to this. Foxx, though, is giving up the post after this year.

In any event, McCaul’s announcement isn’t ideal news for Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), all of whom could be directly impacted by the move.

— Max Cohen

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