Speaker taps longest-serving committee member to take reigns from Ney
WASHINGTON - Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers Wednesday was named by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to serve as acting chairman of the House Administration Committee. Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, takes over from Chairman Robert Ney, R-Ohio, who stepped down from his post.
"I am gratified and humbled to be asked by Speaker Hastert to lead the House Administration Committee for the foreseeable future," said Ehlers, who has been a member of the House Administration Committee since 1995 (when it was called the House Oversight Committee), and is the longest-serving member of the committee. "I look forward to the opportunity to make the committee and the House run smoothly as we tackle many important issues."
The House Administration Committee is charged with the oversight of federal elections and the day-to-day functions of the House of Representatives. It also has oversight responsibilities over the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Gardens, and the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Zoo, said Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids.
As a member of the committee, Ehlers led a project that resulted in the creation of the Thomas website (thomas.loc.gov), which allowed individuals instant access to all Congressional legislation, personal and committee websites and other key information about the U.S. House of Representatives. The project also led to all Congressional offices being connected to the World Wide Web and being accessible to constituents through the World Wide Web and e-mail.
"I am pleased that Rep. Ehlers has agreed to serve as the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration," Speaker Hastert said. "He is a well experienced member of this committee and has been instrumental in the creation of the Thomas website, a portal that allows the American people access to copies of legislation and other government documents. Rep. Ehlers also played an integral part in assuring the overall wiring of the House of Representatives for Internet access, so that the American people have access to their elected officials. I know that Rep. Ehlers will work with members on both sides of the aisle to assure the continued success of the Committee on House Administration."
Ehlers, who was elected to the U.S. House in December 1994, also serves as a member of the House committees on Science, Education & the Workforce and Transportation & Infrastructure. He will continue to hold his position as chairman of the Science Committee's Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards.