The Burr-Paul intrigue is only part of an intricate dance among potential committee chairs as Republicans stand ready to hold a slim majority in January as they face two runoff elections in Georgia. If Democrats can upset GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in these races, the new GOP majority would be short-lived, provided Biden wins the presidency. And the GOP leadership of the committees could be very different.
For now, however, preparations for the next congress have to begin. A number of committee configurations are possible, according to Senate Republican sources. With the Senate GOP scheduled to begin their fourth term in a majority, some Republican leaders will be suspended from their positions due to party rules limiting them to three terms of two years.
All of these decisions need to be approved by the entire Senate Republican Conference, but senators and aides have started sketching out who will have the trips next year in a complex game based on the decisions of people like Burr. The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment on possible committee chairs.
Another senior Republican Senator, John Barrasso of Wyoming, may step down from the Environment and Public Works Chair to lead the Energy Committee on which Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, is on a term basis. Barrasso is undecided by two sources. If he swapped trips, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) Would be next in line for the environmental panel.
Even if Paul does not take over the HELP committee, he may have one more attempt to take over the chair. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Who temporarily replaced Burr on the Intelligence Committee, also chairs the Small Business Committee. At the next convention, Rubio is likely to remain Chairman of the Intelligence Committee and is likely to step down from Small Business, with Paul next in line.
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is expected to return to the Senate Justice Committee after giving up the hammer for two years to chair the Finance Committee. The current chairman of the judiciary, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Is believed to lead the Senate’s budget committee. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is due to replace Grassley in finance while Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Is due to take over Crapo’s banking committee.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee will also see a change as Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) stands ready to replace Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Who took his seat to the son of former Vice President Joe Biden , Hunter, to investigate. Portman is expected to shift the committee’s focus to issues such as cybersecurity, control over the government’s response to coronavirus, addiction epidemic, human trafficking and national security.
Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.). Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, is expected to lead the Agriculture Committee and retire.