Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), the leader of the House spending panel on defense, has hung on to his seat, leaving him in position to lead an effort to pass a full-year fiscal 2013 defense spending bill, potentially by late March.
Young’s ongoing tenure adds some stability to the panel, where mass turnover otherwise will take place on the Democratic side. In addition to the retirement of Rep. Norm Dicks (Wash.), the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) are also departing.
And while the leaders of the House Armed Services Committee, Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), will return for the 113th Congress, they will be looking to fill at least six vacancies on the committee.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), the chairman of the tactical air and land forces subcommittee, lost his seat. The departure of Bartlett, long a champion of technology to counter electromagnetic pulse disasters, leaves a gap on one of the committee’s top panels. Bartlett, a former physicist, also serves on the House Science Committee. His Democratic counterpart, Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), also will not return next year.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) departs after an unsuccessful Senate race, leaving an opening on the seapower and projection forces subcommittee and on the Science committee.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), an outspoken former Army officer who rode into office on the tea party wave as one of the committee’s “Lucky 13” freshmen, was ousted by Democrat Patrick Murphy. Rather than running a campaign focused on national security credentials, as West did in the last election, Murphy leaned on his experience as a “green contractor” who worked to clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
And Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) lost the seat once held by defense powerhouse Rep. John Murtha (D), who brought defense dollars to a rural western Pennsylvania district.