US Rep. Moore named to Ways and Means Committee, off Armed Forces
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the 118th Congress lurches into action, U.S. Rep. Blake Moore has taken a spot on the influential U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means.
The 1st District lawmaker has long touted the importance of reining in U.S. spending and reducing U.S. debt and sees placement on the committee as a way of working toward those goals. The committee has jurisdiction over tax, trade, health care, entitlement and other issues.
“When I ran for Congress, I promised to be part of reversing our debt culture in Washington,” Moore said in a statement on Wednesday, when he was named to the body. “Many of our nation’s debt drivers come under the Ways and Means Committee’s jurisdiction, and I am eager to get to work on how we can reform Congress’s budgeting process and responsibly steward our federal resources and programs.”
Though influential, House rules prohibit Ways and Means Committee members from serving on other committees, which means Moore is off the Armed Forces and Natural Resources committees, his prior assignments, according to Utah Sen. Todd Weiler. With Hill Air Force Base located inside the 1st District, the absence of a Utah lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee is concerning to him.
He’s “gobsmacked” that Moore, a Salt Lake City Republican, has left the committee, Weiler tweeted on Thursday.
“This is a huge step backwards, and is a complete abandonment of one of Utah’s largest employers. It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of HAFB to northern Utah,” wrote Weiler, a Woods Cross Republican. Reached later by the Standard-Examiner, Weiler noted the traditional role of the 1st District lawmaker in defending Hill via service on the Armed Forces Committee, like Rep. Rob Bishop before Moore.
Moore’s office responded, saying the lawmaker’s “commitment to Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community is unwavering.” His service on caucus groups focused on the U.S. Air Force and his role on the Ways and Means Committee “gives Utah a historic seat at the table and the ability to address our national fiscal crises while advocating for our military,” reads Moore’s response.
What’s more, other leadership positions he holds give him leverage to champion the Sentinel and F-35 programs, key focuses at Hill, while the Air Force base’s future “is secure” thanks to decades of work by Utah defense advocates, Moore’s office said. In fact, the biggest threat to Hill is the U.S. national debt, it went on, an issue within the wheelhouse of the Ways and Means Committee.
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican and chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee, said strengthening the U.S. economy will be a focus of GOPers on the body. “We will prioritize our most valuable economic resource, the American worker, by working to ensure a tax code that supports the millions of working-class families who are struggling in the Biden economy,” Smith said, referring to U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Moore becomes the first Utah GOPer on the Ways and Means Committee and Smith called him a “fighter for fiscal sanity.” “On the Ways and Means Committee, he will have the same dogged determination to build a strong economy for all Americans that will support working families, lower taxes and promote investment in America,” Smith said.