A South Carolina congressman will likely chair a House standing committee for the first time in seven years.
U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy was selected by members of his party Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Gowdy was considered the favorite once previous chair U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, announced last month he will retire at the end of June.
“I am grateful to the Steering Committee and the Conference as a whole for this opportunity to serve,” Gowdy said in a statement. “I look forward to working alongside the other Committee members, as well as any member of Congress, as we discharge the jurisdiction assigned to us.”
The House GOP Steering Committee recommended Gowdy’s selection following a closed-door meeting. The House GOP conference will take up the recommendation next week, although it is expected to follow the recommendation.
Gowdy has represented the Greenville-Spartanburg region in Congress since 2011. He got national attention after leading a House select committee which investigated the 2012 attack on an American consulate in Benghazi. The committee’s investigation revealed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had used a private email server during her time at the State Department. But it was also criticized by Democratic members as a politically-motivated effort to target Clinton in an election year.
The committee’s role will likely mean more time in the spotlight for Gowdy, as the House Oversight Committee will likely investigate potential issues in the Trump Administration. The committee had already started to investigate former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn until the Justice Department appointed a special prosecutor.
Gowdy is the first South Carolina representative to head a House committee since former U.S. Rep. John Spratt led the House Budget Committee from 2007 to 2011.