House Republicans approved Hastings -- the choice of Speaker of the House Dennis Haterst, R-Ill., -- to replace former chairman Joel Hefley, R-Colo., who reportedly angered GOP leaders by rebuking House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, three times in 2004.
Hastings, who is recognized as a party loyalist, already served on the 10 member panel, which is evenly divided along party lines but is now stacked with Republicans loyal to the leadership.
With the ascension of Hastings to the chair and the replacement of Reps. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri and Steven C. LaTourette of Ohio with Lamar Smith of Texas, Melissa A. Hart of Pennsylvania and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the GOP side of the commiteee is made up of lawmakers with a history of backing their leadership.
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., remains on the committee.
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