Rep. Jason Chaffetz is one of several contenders in an intense power struggle to replace Darrell Issa as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Adding to the intrigue: Issa, who’s term-limited, doesn’t want to give up the gavel.
Chaffetz is shrewdly working an inside game to gain favor at the top levels of the GOP power hierarchy, where decisions on chairmanships are made. He’s traveled to Colorado, New Hampshire and Iowa to raise money for Republican candidates and has an event scheduled in Illinois in the coming weeks. His biggest coup: He’s bringing Mitt Romney to a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser in Utah. NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) will make the trip to the event.
Chaffetz said he wants to show that he goes out of his way and takes “time out of my personal schedule” to help Republicans bolster their majority.
“I put my flag in the ground early; I’m not trying to be coy,” Chaffetz said in an interview. “I’m being direct that I fully intend to put my name in to be the next chairman of the Oversight Committee. It’s something I’ve wanted to do before I even got to Congress. The Oversight Committee has been my No. 1 choice every single term.”