Rep.-elect Pat Meehan, a Republican from Pennsylvania's Seventh District, was elected Wednesday by his newbie colleagues to be one of three freshman representatives on the House Republican Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee, while little known among the public, is a powerful panel that decides which members of the incoming House GOP majority sit on which committees and subcommittees. And, as current reps told the newcomers during orientation earlier this week, your committee assignments are your destiny.
Meehan will be joined on the steering committee by Todd Rokita of Indiana and Joe Heck of Nevada. House Republican leaders have decided to give some leadership roles to freshman lawmakers, in a break with tradition, to recognize the power of their 84-member 1st year class, one of the largest in history.
In an interview Meehan said he hopes to get on the Armed Services Committee - the Seventh District traditionally has a member on that panel - so he can look after the job-creating defense contractors in the district. A former U.S. Attorney and Delco prosecutor, Meehan also said he is interested in Judiciary, Oversight and Homeland Security.