Republicans take House, control of safety-related committees

The control of House committees tasked with workplace safety and funding returns to Republicans after four years of a Democratic majority. Anticipated for months leading up to Tuesday's election, the GOP majority in the House means Republicans will set the legislative agenda in that chamber.

In the Education and Labor Committee, which hosts hearings on workplace safety issues and pursues similar legislation, leadership likely will pass from Rep. George Miller (D-CA) to current ranking member Rep. John Kline (R-MN). The Appropriations Committee, which has broad responsibility for the federal budget, could return control to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who chaired the committee four years ago and is the current ranking member. Current chair Rep. Dave Obey (D-WI) announced his retirement last spring and did not run for re-election.

Republicans will gather in the near future to vote on chairmanships and decide committee membership for freshman congressmen. Democrats retained their majority in the Senate, and the party's leadership for various committees presumably will remain largely intact.

(Read more about the possible effects the election may have on safety and health legislation in the December issue of Safety+Health magazine.)

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