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The House Appropriations Committee is undergoing a leadership change, with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) set to become the new chair, succeeding retiring Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation who currently serves as the panel's vice chair, was recommended unanimously by the House Republican Steering Committee.  He ran unopposed for the chairman's post of the committee, which he has served on since 2009.  

Cole's appointment comes as Congress embarks on the fiscal 2025 appropriations process. His leadership is anticipated to bring a focus on timely completion of appropriations work, with efforts to avoid the tumult and delays experienced in the previous fiscal year.  Cole is known for his conservative credentials, but also for his bipartisan approach, which has earned him praise from colleagues across the aisle.

"I will be utilizing my expertise and years of service on this Committee to responsibly guide us forward and fight for conservative, Republican priorities," Cole said in a statement. "I look forward to hitting the ground running tomorrow and am committed to engaging with the entire Conference to deliver the necessary appropriations bills in a timely manner. Everything I do will be in pursuit of fulfilling our fiscal commitments no matter the obstacles we face."

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Cole's views on energy, climate, and the environment are influenced by his home state's energy portfolio and his background as a member of the Chickasaw Nation. While  supportive of an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy, he has been critical of progressive proposals like the Green New Deal, calling it “misguided” and “unrealistic.” His stance has earned him a low score from the League of Conservation Voters.

In line with the appointment, Cole will have to relinquish his position as chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development. His background in transportation and infrastructure funding is seen as advantageous, particularly in the context of upcoming efforts to secure emergency funding for infrastructure projects such as the replacement of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) remains chair of the Appropriations Committee and has been named permanent chair of the Senate subcommittee dealing with Department of Energy and water spending issues. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) will take over as chair of the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.