U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess loses bid for GOP leadership position on key committee

by Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune.

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.

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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.