A group of junior Democratic Senators “are pushing for committee chairmen to stand for election at the beginning of each Congress, a requirement that has not been in effect for years, according to lawmakers familiar with the discussions,” The Hill reports.
They want to have more of a say in the leadership of powerful committees, such as the Senate Finance, Appropriations, Commerce and Banking committees.
The proposed rules change has made some chairmen nervous, Democratic aides say.
If chairman have to face re-election at the beginning of each Congress, they might be less willing to cut deals with Republicans. Or it could motivate them to be more generous in sharing committee funds with junior members who head subcommittees.
A group of members from the classes of ’06 and ’08 began meeting with Democratic leaders last year to discuss rules reform.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a member of the class of ’06, is leading the charge. He would like for the Senate Democratic conference to elect chairmen by secret ballot.