Arkansas GOP Rep. Womack tapped to lead Budget panel

WASHINGTON (AP) Republican congressman Steve Womack has been tapped to chair the House Budget Committee.

The House Republican Steering Committee chose Womack to replace congresswoman Diane Black, who has stepped aside to focus on a gubernatorial run in Tennessee. The steering committee is a leadership group generally aligned with top Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The budget panel's chief job is to draft an annual budget document that outlines GOP priorities and can set a fast-track path for legislation such as last month's tax overhaul.

Womack acknowledges that chairing the committee is "a huge challenge."

Womack is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which focuses on writing agency budgets. Previous GOP chairmen such as Black and Ryan, have hailed from the powerful Ways and Means panel, which has jurisdiction over taxes.

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