Senator Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) will step down as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will leave the committee effective Monday, November 30th. Nodler, who has chaired the committee for the past two sessions, made the announcement in a Friday morning press release and conference call with Capitol Press Corps reporters.
Nodler, who is running for the congressional seat held by Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO7), says he is stepping aside to ensure there will be no appearance of political ambition influencing his actions. Furthermore, he points out it would not be possible to give sufficient attention to both the time demands of a campaign and the time demands of chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee. He insists he is not being forced out.
“No one in Senate leadership has, in any way, suggested or encouraged or urged me to make this decision,” said Nodler in his conference call. “This is a decision I have come to entirely on my own.”
As for why he waited until now to step down, Nodler says he had hoped to resolve some of the issues regarding funding for the Career Ladder education program.
“There was one particular issue that I wanted to try to deal with before I left this position and that was the Career Ladder funding issue,” said Nodler. “I believe that I have said and done everything that I can possibly do to move that issue toward a resolution.”
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) is expected to announce a replacement for Nodler later in the day on Friday.
Update at 12:08 pm:
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields has announced he will appoint Senator Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) as the new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, effective December 1st. Mayer was appointed Committee Vice Chair in 2007.