The end of the calendar year following an election season is a time that’s always filled with change for the lawmakers who serve us. Here are some of the transitions in the works as we usher out 2012 and look ahead to 2013:
-Richard Lugar will announce his future plans Friday afternoon during a 3:30 news conference at the University of Indianapolis. In the past, the veteran senator -defeated in the May GOP primary- has said he plans to continue to be an active voice on the issues of energy and nutrition, but it’s unclear whether those are the issues that will consume the majority of his time. Lugar will field questions from reporters at Friday’s event. I had been hoping to sit down with Lugar for an extended interview on his 36 years of service in the Senate, but a staffer today told me it’s unlikely that will happen.
-Congressman Marlin Stutzman, who represents most of northeast Indiana, is getting a promotion for his second full term in the U.S. House. Stutzman’s office announced Tuesday that he has been selected to serve on the House Financial Services Committee, which is one of the four most influential committees in that chamber. It’s responsible for oversight of the Treasury, Federal Reserve Board, and the nation’s capital markets. The committee also has jurisidiction over international finance and efforts to combat terrorist financing. “I look forward to using this new committee assignment to help end the era of bailouts and over-regulation,” said Stutzman. This assignment, along with that of Indiana Congressman Todd Young to the House Ways and Means Committee, is good news for Indiana at a time when influential lawmakers like Dan Burton and Richard Lugar are leaving the political scene.
-Stutzman is also getting a new top lieutenant for the next Congress. Matt Lloyd, the longtime communications director for Congressman Mike Pence, will take over for Tim Harris as Stutzman’s chief of staff. Lloyd has worked for Pence as a trusted aide in one capacity or another for almost a decade, but has opted not to follow him to the governor’s office in Indianapolis. A Stutzman staffer I spoke with today said the parting with Harris is “an amiable split”, and also said Harris deserves a lot of the credit for getting Stutzman’s office up and running over the past couple years. The staffer also acknowledged that Harris played a key role in Stutzman’s appointment to the House Financial Services Committee. Exactly why Harris is leaving and who initiated his departure is still a mystery to much of Stutzman’s staff.