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U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess Loses Bid For GOP Leadership Position On Key Committee

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, during a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in response to COVID-19 outbreak in May.
Greg Nash/Pool via Reuters
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, during a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in response to COVID-19 outbreak in May.

Burgess had been vying to be the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, conceded his bid to be the Republican leader on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

“I want to congratulate my friend, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, on being named the top Republican for Energy and Commerce,” the Lewisville Republican said in a news release. “Under her leadership the committee will continue its legacy of putting forward bipartisan solutions for the American people, and I look forward to working with her in the coming Congress.”

McMorris Rodgers is a Washington state Republican who previously served in House leadership.

The pair were vying for the role of ranking member — the minority party's top member on the committee. But given Republican gains in November, Burgess told The Texas Tribune on Monday that he viewed the contest as a bid for the chairmanship in hopes his party would close the gap and take back control of the chamber in two years.

Burgess competed hard for the slot, helping to raise money for colleagues and using his medical degree to serve as a de facto spokesman for House Republicans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has one of the most sweeping jurisdictions of all House committees, including all sectors of American commerce.

One other Texan is vying for a new leadership sport in the U.S. House. U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, is running to be chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. That vote will take place sometime on Thursday.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.

Abby Livingston joined the Tribune in 2014 as the publication's first Washington Bureau Chief. Previously, she covered political campaigns, House leadership and Congress for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper. A seventh-generation Texan, Abby graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She grew up in Fort Worth and has appeared in an episode of "The Bold and The Beautiful." Abby pitched and produced political segments for CNN and worked as an editor for The Hotline, National Journal’s campaign tipsheet. Abby began her journalism career as a desk assistant at NBC News in Washington, working her way up to the political unit, where she researched stories for Nightly News, the Today Show and Meet the Press. In keeping with the Trib’s great history of hiring softball stars, Abby is a three-time MVP (the most in game history —Ed.) for The Bad News Babes, the women’s press softball team that takes on female members of Congress in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball breast cancer charity game.