House Republicans don’t exactly excel in the diversity department. The caucus is led by a white male Speaker, white male Majority Leader, and white male Majority Whip. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee is a white male, and next year, he’ll be replaced by another white male.
Making matters much worse, this week, the House GOP leadership assigned 19 committee chairmanships, which went to 19 men – 18 white guys and one guy of Lebanese descent. It was almost as if House Republicans were going out of their way to make the caricature of their party that much more accurate.
But wait, there were still two open committee chairs that had not yet been assigned. Today, after digging through their binders full of women, Boehner & Co. apparently found one.
NBC News has learned that Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) will be named chair of the House Administration Committee. Miller did not serve on the committee during the 112th Congress. […]
The House Administration Committee deals with the pertinent administrative business of the House. The committee can decide such mundane things as whether or not the House cafeterias will use paper or Styrofoam plates – or more serious matters such as benefit packages for congressional workers and how the Library of Congress operates. The Committee also monitors the expense accounts of House members.
In an amusing twist, usually committee chairs are elevated from within the committee, but Boehner had a problem: in the two remaining committees, there were no Republican women on either. In this case, Miller will be the chair of the House Administration Committee despite not having served on the House Administration Committee.
Regardless, this move was clearly about public relations, and Republicans were apparently shamed into taking diversity at least a little seriously.
Update: My colleague Tricia Mckinney notes that Miller did serve on the Administration Committee a few years ago, so she’ll at least be familiar with its duties. Miller hoped to become the first female chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, but the position instead went to Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).