Joe Barton: the Indispensable Man

by Bruce Webb

Mostly lost in the furor over whether BP Apologist Joe Barton should remain as Ranking Member of the House Energy Committee and so potentially the Chairman should the Republicans take over the House is the fact that under Republican caucus rules he is term-limited out. Something high-lighted in this Feb article focused on Barton and obviously prior to the blowout event itself.

Politico: Term limits rule rankles ranking GOP

Even if House Republicans regain the majority this year, they’ll have to live with an old rule from their 1994 revolution: term limits atop key committees.

Some longtime lawmakers were none too pleased with the Steering Committee’s decision, which was announced Wednesday by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee who would be term-limited out of a chairmanship, called the limits that apply to ranking members “counterproductive.”

“Don’t ask me to do a good job in the minority and make a rule that says you can’t continue to do a good job as chairman,” said Barton, who is a member of the steering committee that decided to keep the policy.

Are Republicans so beholden to Big Oil that they will actually override rules they reaffirmed four months ago explicitly to keep Joe as Ranking Member/Chairman in Waiting?

In say Baseball it is one thing to let your Manager stay on even if the team is having an off-year. But to actually renew the Contract?