GOP Texas Rep. Kay Granger, who is not seeking another term, steps down from powerful role as chair of House Appropriations Committee

 March 23, 2024

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) announced last year that she would not seek re-election to another term in November, though she vowed to serve out the remainder of her current term in Congress.

On Friday, however, Granger revealed in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) that she was immediately stepping aside from her powerful role as chair of the influential House Appropriations Committee, according to the Washington Examiner.

The unexpected resignation came just hours after the House passed its final spending measures for Fiscal Year 2024 in an omnibus bill, with the long-serving congresswoman explaining that she was stepping down from her role now so that her replacement could be named in time to begin work "as soon as possible" on FY2025 spending bills.

Stepping aside now so her successor can start working

The House Appropriations Committee issued a press release on Friday that shared a version of the resignation letter sent by Chairwoman Granger to Speaker Johnson that included her request for the GOP Steering Committee and Conference to quickly select her replacement to serve as chair for the remainder of the current term.

The letter also noted that Granger would not leave the committee altogether, but rather would stay on until her term expired in the role of "Chair Emeritus," from which she could "ensure a seamless transition" and provide guidance based on experience to her successor as well as "advice and counsel" to other committee members when necessary.

The Texas congresswoman, who has represented the area of Fort Worth in the state's 12th District since she first entered office in 1997, heralded the conservative agenda accomplishments she'd helped achieve over the years, particularly within the past five years in her role as chairwoman or ranking member.

She also praised Speaker Johnson for "stepping up to lead Congress during a very tumultuous time" and expressed her confidence in his continued leadership of House Republicans.

Speaker Johnson reacts to Granger's sudden resignation

In response to Rep. Granger's letter, Speaker Johnson posted a statement that said, "Kay Granger has been a champion for Texas and a faithful public servant for the people of the 12th District for nearly three decades. She has certainly been a loyal friend and encourager to me since I came to Congress."

"As the first Republican woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee, she has also been a trailblazer, and a leader who has done some of the most difficult work on legislation to support our troops, honor our veterans, and meet the needs of the American people under presidents and speakers of both parties," he continued.

Johnson added of Granger, "As she completes her service this term as Chairwoman Emeritus, the Committee and the House Republican Conference will continue to benefit from her expertise, wisdom, and example."

Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole the reported frontrunner to replace Granger

Axios reported that the speculation on Capitol Hill about who might be selected to replace Rep. Granger as the next chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee included Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Robert Aderholt (R-AL).

Cole, who currently chairs the equally influential House Rules Committee, is said to be the frontrunner to succeed Granger, according to multiple unnamed members of the Steering Committee. If he is selected by the committee, a similar effort will then have to be launched to replace him on the Rules Committee.

"It is bittersweet news to learn that my longtime friend and chair, Chairwoman Kay Granger, is stepping down from her role as the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee," Cole said in a statement, according to the Examiner.

The Oklahoma congressman added, "Throughout her long and distinguished career on the Committee, she has truly been a trusted leader and friend to my colleagues and me as we have worked to responsibly fund the government year after year."

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