WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill, announced a series of GOP appointments Wednesday, filling several vacancies on key House committees.
Republican Ralph Hall, of Texas, who recently switched parties, filled GOP vacancies on the Energy and Commerce, International Relations and Science Committees.
As a Democrat, Hall was member of the Energy & Commerce and Science committees.
Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla., was named to the Energy and Commerce Committee, as was Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C.
Myrick, the speaker's office said, would immediately go on leave so that she could continue to serve as a member of the House Rules Committee.
Missouri's Rep. Roy Blunt, the House majority whip, is also taking a leave from the Energy and Commerce Committee and will assume new duties as a member of the International Relations Committee.
"Each of these members has an exceptional background and a remarkable knowledge of the issues," said Hastert. "I congratulate each of them and look forward to working with them in their new roles."