WASHINGTON — Sen. William S. Cohen has decided to remain on the Armed Services Committee, passing up a seat on the powerful Appropriations panel, an aide said Thursday.
A major factor in Cohen’s decision was the fact that he would not be assigned to a subcommittee that has jurisdiction over defense spending, said Kathy Gest, press secretary to the Maine Republican.
“Sen. Cohen decided to stay on Armed Services because he would not be assured of a seat on the defense subcommittee, where he felt he could best serve the interests of the state of Maine,” Gest said.
Cohen, is a senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee. He would have been near the bottom of the seniority list if he had moved to the Appropriations panel.
The Armed Services Committee authorizes funding for all military programs. The Appropriations panel sets specific spending levels for all federal agencies and programs, including the Pentagon. Senate rules prohibit lawmakers from serving on both committees.
There were three GOP vacancies on the 29-member Appropriations Committee, and Cohen said he could have had one of the open seats if he wanted it.