Republicans are on track to secure a solid majority in the House, likely putting members of Congress who are extremely critical of the Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department in key leadership positions come January.
Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas and Frank Wolf of Virginia, who are set to win reelection, have taken issue with Holder’s DOJ and will likely take control of the House panels that oversee the department. Smith is the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee; Wolf is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science subcommittee, which oversees the DOJ budget.
The Republicans have raised concerns about several issues including the DOJ’s handling of the controversial voter intimidation case involving members of the New Black Panther Party, a proposal to try self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators in a New York federal court, and reading Miranda warnings to terrorism suspects.
Smith said in a statement early Wednesday morning that the House Judiciary Committee “will focus on initiatives that protect Americans and create jobs, including strengthening national security, enforcing immigration laws, protecting intellectual property, preventing frivolous lawsuits and keeping children safe from sex predators.”
“It is time to point the country in a new direction-toward policies that promote prosperity and security for all Americans,” Smith said.
The House member told supporters in September that Holder came up to him at a football game to ask him to “be nice” after the election.
Smith said at the time that probably the biggest advantage of a Republican majority in the House would be the ability to “issue subpoenas and find out what this administration has been doing that the American people don’t know.”
This story has been updated.