The midterm Congressional election has cost House Democrats some of their most experienced defense overseers.
—Michael C. Sirak
In fact, pending the results of one contest in Texas that was still too close to call as of midday Wednesday, it's possible that the top four ranking Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee will not return to the halls of Congress come January.
Already known is that Missouri voters ousted Rep. Ike Skelton (D), current HASC chairman, after 33 years in office. Skelton's district includes Whiteman Air Force Base, home of the Air Force's B-2 bomber fleet.
Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), second ranking Democrat on the HASC, also lost his seat after 28 years.
The fate of Rep. Solomon Ortiz (Tex.), current HASC readiness panel chair and No. 3 Democrat on the committee, remains unresolved, as Texas state officials have not yet determined the winner of his race against Republican challenger Blake Farenthold.
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), current HASC seapower subcommittee chair, and the No. 4 Democrat, lost his re-election bid, ending his 21 years in office.
Notable on the Republican side is that Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.), HASC ranking member, won his re-election bid. He is expected in some circles to take over the reins of the committee for the Republicans come January.
McKeon stated Wednesday that Republicans want a defense authorization bill for Fiscal 2011 that is "not weighed down by the current majority's social agenda items," CNN reported. The bill is one item that the lame duck session of Congress must resolve upon its return.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), current ranking member of the HASC airland panel, also retained his seat.
On the appropriations side, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), current chair of the House Appropriations Committee defense panel, held his seat. Current HAC chair Rep. Doug Obey (Wis.) did not seek re-election.
HAC-D ranking member Rep. Bill Young (R-Calif.) won his race; HAC ranking member Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) also triumphed.
On the Senate side, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, was not up for re-election. But Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), ranking member, easily won his re-election bid.
Voters also returned Republican SASC members Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), Sen. John Thune (S.D.), and Sen. David Vitter (La.) to Washington, D.C.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), current Senate Appropriations Committee chairman and head of its defense subcommittee, easily triumphed in his re-election contest.
Also returning to the Senate are current SAC-D members Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
As of mid-day Wednesday, Washington state officials had not announced the winner of the hotly contested race between SAC-D member Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and her Republican challenger Dino Rossi.
The next Daily Report will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, due to the Presidents Day holiday.
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