Missouri’s senior Congressman is in line for the chairmanship of one of the most important committees in the House.. Congressman Ike Skelton of Lexington will start his 16th term in the House in January. His seniority is likely to make him Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. As the ranking minority member for the last decade, Skelton has often questioned the Bush adminitration’s defense policies and its actions in the Middle East. One of the first things he would do is reinstitute the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. The Republicans eliminated that committee. Skelton thinks oversight has suffered. He wants to turn it loose. He says the committee will look into contract abuse and corruption as well as policy decisions and what is needed to bring about success on the battlefield. Skelton thinks the public’s attitude about the war helped Democrats gain contrrol of the House. During the campaign, president Bush accused the democrats of having a “cut-and-run” policy. Skelton rejects that idea. He says the nation needs a policy that works. He thinks the exit of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld gives the country a chance for a new policy toward Iraq and Afghanistan. He says it’s critical that the change be more than cosmetic.
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