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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Capito's star rises

Shelly Moore Capito -- the first Republican senator in 58 years -- is the only rookie senator to receive a chairmanship on the coveted appropriations committee. She is chairwoman of the committee that oversees the budget for Senate operations.

She received praise from Roll Call, the vanguard of Capitol Hill reporting.

From Roll Call:
Capito took command of the hearing, which lasted nearly an hour, and examined the budget requests with CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf and GAO Comptroller Gene Dodaro. Capito questioned Elmendorf about the potential use of dynamic scoring, which was included the House rules package and buttonholed Dodaro about the more than 6,000 outstanding GAO recommendations to cut wasteful government spending.
She seemed to make a good first impression on Elmendorf and Dodaro, coming out from behind the dais to introduce herself and letting them know it would be a few more minutes before the hearing would start (after which Dodaro commented to a staffer, “She’s very nice.”).
“I think I’m looking for accountability,” Capito told CQ Roll Call after the hearing, when asked about her vision for the subcommittee. “I think the GAO’s point about the waste, fraud and abuse and some of the numbers he used were pretty startling. I think that working with Sen. Schatz, we can get together and really look at this high risk list that they’ve put together because we need savings and we need to make sure our taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously.”
Capito said she will hold another hearing Thursday with Secretary of the Senate Julie E. Adams, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin and Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.
Recent legislative branch spending has reflected budgetary constraints. But Capito said Tuesday she was optimistic about the budget requests the various agencies submitted as part of President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal.
“I don’t find anybody’s request over the top in terms of expanding their workforce or their purview or anything like that,” Capito said. “So we’re just going to see how it goes.”
Sounds mundane but she served her time in the House -- 14 years -- and learned how it works.

She also spent much of her childhood in Washington when her father, Arch Moore, was a congressman. This only looks like a mundane assignment. She appropriates what senators spend. The hand that rocks the Senate budget rules the empire.

How to you think Byrd bested Ted Kennedy to become majority whip and then leader?

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