Speaker Pelosi Sidesteps Committee on CAO Appointment

Jan 31, 2007

WASHINGTON – Despite efforts by the Committee on House Administration’s Ranking Member, Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., to engage in a bipartisan and competitive search for the next Chief Administrative Officer of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi opted to appoint Daniel P. Beard without input or explanation of the search process, once again abandoning the Democrats’ election-year promise to work together with Republicans on key issues.

In a letter sent earlier this week to House Administration Chairwoman, Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., Members, and House Leaders, Ehlers stated, “While the proper administration of the House is ultimately the responsibility of the majority, primarily executed by the Committee on House Administration, the successful operation of the House is certainly not a partisan matter.”

“Because of the importance of the role of the Chief Administrative Officer, and the implications it will have on this institution, I know I speak for the Republican members of this Committee that are committed to working with you and our Democratic colleagues in the review of prospective candidates for a new Chief Administrative Officer,” Ehlers wrote.

The 1997 search for a new Chief Administrative Officer, which resulted in the placement of current Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen, was facilitated by an outside search firm and overseen by a bipartisan panel of two Republicans and two Democrats. After an extensive and competitive evaluation of over eighty candidates nationwide, Eagen received a unanimous vote of support from all four panel members.

Upon hearing the news of Pelosi’s appointment, Ranking Member Ehlers stated, “I am extremely disappointed that the Speaker has decided not to seek the expertise of various House stakeholders from both political parties that have demonstrated their great interest in ensuring the proper administration of the House and its 10,000 employees.”

Ehlers also noted, “Selecting a candidate to lead a complex organization such as the CAO, an organization whose success or failure bears significant consequence to the House of Representatives, should not be carried out behind closed doors, using a process known only to the Speaker and those in the Democratic leadership.”

For more information, contact the Republican Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.