WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin plans to remain in the House of Representatives for at least another term now that he has landed a spot on the powerful Ways & Means Committee.
"I am not going to run for Senate in 2014. I am not going to run for governor in 2014," Griffin, R-Little Rock, and the state’s 2nd District congressman, said today.
Griffin will join the tax writing committee in January when the 113th Congress is sworn into office. The committee will have a full plate in 2013 as the Republican majority seeks to overhaul the tax code and entitlement programs.
"I am so excited to be on this committee. That’s where my focus will be," said Griffin. "There are a lot of issues and a lot of problems that are so critical to the country that come under this committee’s jurisdiction, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which are going bankrupt."
Griffin had been touted as a serious challenger to Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., who is up for re-election in 2014. The Arkansas Senate race is expected to be among the most hotly contested in the nation.
Pryor will be the lone Democrat in the Arkansas delegation next year — a reversal from 2008, when Republicans held just one seat and Pryor was re-elected without facing a GOP challenger.
Larry Sabato, at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said the seat represents a "top Republican opportunity."
Although Griffin is passing on a challenge now, any ambition he may hold for higher office could be helped by serving on the House’s chief tax-writing committee. Eight presidents, eight vice presidents, 21 House speakers and four members of the Supreme Court have served on the committee.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., who will chair the committee, said he is committed to pushing ahead with efforts to overhaul the nation’s tax code and entitlement programs.
"As our economy continues to struggle, the committee’s priority must be advancing policies that create a climate where businesses begin investing and employers begin hiring once again," he said.
Griffin said that he hopes to listen and learn a lot as a new member of the prestigious committee.
"Arkansas has not had a member serving on this committee since 1992 and we have never had a Republican on the committee," Griffin said.