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Foxx Gets Waiver, Faces New Contender to Lead House Panel (1)

Dec. 7, 2022, 8:03 PMUpdated: Dec. 7, 2022, 10:29 PM

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) received a waiver Wednesday that would put her in the running to lead the House Education and Labor Committee, but fellow Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan said he, too, wants to chair the panel.

The Republican steering committee said Foxx could circumvent term-limit rules to be chair of the committee next year, according to a House Republican aide familiar with the matter. Foxx has been the top Republican on the education and labor panel since 2017, when she took over as chair of the then-Education and the Workforce Committee, which she has promised to reinstate as its title.

A spokesperson for Walberg Wednesday said the congressman, who has served on the committee for 14 years, also would be in the race for committee chair.

“Rep. Walberg has a proven track record of putting students’ future first and has the leadership experience to tackle the pressing issues facing America’s classrooms and workplaces,” said spokesman Dan Kotman in a statement to Bloomberg Law. “He is a candidate for Chairman and will continue to make the case to lead the committee.”

The steering committee is expected to make official announcements on committee chairs in the next few weeks.

Both Foxx and Walberg would likely lead an increase of GOP oversight of agencies like the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Foxx, who often wrote to those agencies inquiring over proposed regulations, budgets, and other matters as ranking member for the last four years, has promised to defend businesses and roll back Democrats’ pro-labor agenda.

“We will amplify the voices of job creators and workers, not the radical demands of union bosses,” she said in a recent statement to Bloomberg Law. “The Committee will no longer be a lackey for Big Labor.”

Foxx has particularly shown an interest in Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and could push those efforts to the forefront inquiring into Walsh’s participation in labor-management disputes. The committee would also likely examine DOL policies on independent contractors and planned rules on overtime pay.

Walberg, whose father and son have led union organizing, has slammed organized labor, saying unions have failed workers and haven’t adapted to a changing economy.

The steering committee’s grant of a waiver was first reported by Politico.

(Updated with Walberg's statement in third paragraph and additional reporting throughout. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Diego Areas Munhoz in Washington, D.C. at dareasmunhoz@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Genevieve Douglas at gdouglas@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloombergindustry.com