Republican Representative Vern Ehlers of Grand Rapids has been chosen to head the House of Representatives House Administration Committee. Ehlers has served on the committee since 1995 and is currently the longest standing member of the committee, has in the past touted his work on the committee in helping the House of Representatives make more efficient use of the internet. Ehlers other committee assignments include Transportation and Infrastructure, Science, Education and the Workforce, and the Joint Committee on the Library. Since being elected to Congress in 1995, Ehlers’ voting record has made him a moderate Republican.
In the coming months, the committee is expected to examine the possibility of reforming lobbying rules and increasing disclosure. For his part, Ehlers has received over $40,000 from political action committees in the 2005-2006 election cycle and has received contributions from a variety of business interests including CMS Energy, Amway/Alticor, and DTE Energy. Ehlers has stated that he supports the Republican ethics-reform package, which despite including a $20 limit on gifts from lobbyists and would change from 1 year to 2 years the length of time a former member of Congress would have to wait before becoming a lobbyist, has come under fire for failing to seriously address the problem of lobbying in Congress.