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U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker speaks during the election celebration at Lancaster County GOP's headquarters on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker was passed over this week for the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee, a panel with important influence over the federal government’s overall spending.

Smucker told LNP | LancasterOnline last month that he planned to seek the committee gavel when the Republican majority took over in January, citing his view that Congress needs to cut the “unsustainable” national debt before it leads to “some economic calamity, probably a sovereign debt crisis.”

The House GOP empowers a 32-mem ber steering committee, comprising the party’s leaders and representatives from different regions of the country, to decide which members will chair committees.

Smucker vied against two other Republicans — Buddy Carter of Georgia and Jodey Arrington of Texas — with the committee ultimately deciding to award the Budget Committee top spot to Arrington.

“I want to congratulate Rep. Arrington,” Smucker said in a statement. “I look forward to remaining on the Budget Committee and working with him and the rest of the committee to begin to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.”

Smucker remains a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax and trade policy and is considered one of the most influential panels in Congress. In the last Congress, he served on two Ways and Means subcommittees — one on trade and the other on worker and family support.

Spending and economic policies are top interests for Smucker.

“We are on an unsustainable fiscal path, and I want this Congress to be the one that changes that trajectory,” he said Wednesday. “It will require tough decisions, but the solutions are attainable. We can work to put our nation back on the right path to ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren.”

The rules package governing how the GOP majority will run the chamber includes provisions that will empower individual lawmakers to challenge specific spending bills and policies.

On Tuesday, Smucker joined every Republican to pass H.R. 23 to rescind funding approved last year to hire more IRS agents who, Smucker said, were expected to “audit hardworking middle-class Americans and businesses.”

Democrats criticized the bill, saying it will hinder the IRS’s ability to enforce tax laws on high-income Americans. Smucker said the bill maintains funding for customer service improvements at the agency.

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