GOP moves to ensure control of money committees

The Mississippi House changed its rules Wednesday to ensure Republicans have a majority on both money committees.

Under longtime rules, the House speaker could name three members to the budget-writing Appropriations Committee and three to tax-writing Ways and Means. Thirty members of each were selected based on seniority. Six were chosen from each of state’s five congressional districts that existed before 2000.

Keeping those rules was likely to mean that Democrats, who predominate among long-tenured members, would have retained a majority on the two committees, despite now being in a 64-58 minority in the House.

The House voted Wednesday to cut members selected by tenure to 24, giving Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton six more appointments. Six members will be chosen by seniority from each of the four congressional current districts, drawn in December by a three-judge federal panel.