by Mark Carter
Posted 11/30/2012 10:25 am
Updated 2 years ago
Tim Griffin has been selected to serve on the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
He is the first Arkansas Republican ever selected to serve on the committee. Griffin represents Arkansas' 2nd congressional district and won his first re-election bid in November. He was selected to serve on the committee by the House Republican Steering Committee.
Griffin told The Associated Press that the appointment means he won't run for governor or challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in 2014, races he said he had considered.
"I was going to give some serious thought to other options, but this is such an honor and it is exactly the subject matter I'm interested in that I think holds the key to a lot of our fiscal problems," Griffin said.
Griffin will be the ninth Arkansan to serve on the committee and first since 1992. Democrat Wilbur Mills, who also represented central Arkansas, was chairman of Ways and Means from 1958 to 1975, making him the longest-serving chairman in the committee’s history.
Griffin is among four new Republican members of Ways and Means. Committee members are not allowed to serve on other committees unless they receive a waiver from congressional leaders.
Griffin said last week that he was focused on trying to secure a spot on the committee.
Founded in 1789, the Ways and Means Committee is the oldest committee in Congress and is responsible for considering legislation related to trade agreements, the national debt, federal revenues and programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, according to the Griffin release.
"I am honored to be selected to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee," Griffin said in a Friday news release. "This is good news for my constituents and good news for all of Arkansas. The Ways and Means Committee handles everything from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to the tax code and the opening of new markets for American-made goods.
"Like the Arkansans I represent, I think the tax code is too complex and too burdensome, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I’ll continue to fight for a fairer, flatter and simpler tax code that will better serve all Americans and encourage job creation."