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Granger announces plans to leave powerful spending perch early

House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger plans to give up her gavel early, asking Republicans on Friday to choose a successor soon so she can step down.

In a letter to Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday, the Texas Republican asked the GOP Steering Committee and the rest of the conference to elect a new chair “as soon as possible.” Granger, who isn’t running for reelection next year, said she plans to serve out the remainder of her term in the House and serve as “chair emeritus.”

Granger’s announcement comes just hours after the House passed a massive $1.2 trillion funding package to stave off a shutdown at midnight, finally closing out funding needs on a fiscal year that started five months ago. It’s likely the last major spending deal that she will oversee as Congress barrels toward a presidential election. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) have already signaled they will run for chair.

“Recognizing that an election year often results in final appropriations bills not getting enacted until well into the next fiscal year, it is important that I do everything in my power to ensure a seamless transition” before work on spending bills for the next fiscal year begins in earnest, she wrote.

Aderholt is the most senior Republican on the committee, after Granger. Cole is the current vice chair.

Granger announced in November that she would not run for reelection to the House this year. She is 81 years old and has represented Texas’ 12th Congressional District since 1997, when she became the first Republican woman to represent Texas in the House.

She went on to become the first Republican woman to serve in several other prominent roles, including on the Defense spending subcommittee, going on to lead the influential panel that oversees military funding.

Jennifer Scholtes contributed to this report.

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