Top House GOP negotiator stepping down from post

Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, told GOP leadership Friday that she will be stepping down from her post.

In a letter to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Granger, who previously announced her retirement, requested a replacement “as soon as possible” to serve out the remainder of the congressional session.

“My goal for the next nine months is to return to where I began my career, as an educator. I will remain on the Committee as Chair Emeritus to lead as a teacher would, providing advice and counsel for my colleagues when it is needed,” she wrote.

“I will also continue to find ways to improve the lives of the people of the 12th District of Texas from my position on the Committee. I will dedicate my energy to helping the new Chair and our Conference achieve our goals through the appropriations process.”

The letter was made public not long after the House passed a $1.2 trillion government spending package for fiscal 2024, funding the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, and State, as well as general government, financial services and foreign operations.

The package combines six of the 12 annual government bills the House passed this month for the fiscal year. The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration ahead of a Friday night government shutdown deadline.

The recent announcement has already set off a race for coveted seat atop the appropriations committee.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), head of the subcommittee that crafts funding for transportation and housing programs, threw his hat in the ring for the position later on Friday.

“I have served on the Committee for the majority of my career, in a variety of different positions, and I firmly believe that those experiences will aid me going forward to do a respectable job as Chairman,” Cole said in a statement.

The spending package also caps off months of tense bipartisan spending negotiations in the divided Congress, as well as intraparty fights in the House, where a group of hard-line conservatives have come out strongly against the funding package.

At one point, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) even filed a motion to remove Johnson from his post amid conservative uproar over the bipartisan funding deal.

The push comes as the House Appropriations Committee has already begun holding hearings to prepare for fiscal 2025, as many Republicans are anxious for another try at further restraining government funding and securing conservative policy changes.

In her letter Friday, Granger wrote that she plans to fulfill her “commitment and serve through the end of this Congress.”

“Recognizing that an election year often results in final appropriations bills not getting enacted until well into the next fiscal year, it is important that I do everything in my power to ensure a seamless transition before the FY25 bill development begins in earnest,” she added.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. EDT

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