Washington (CNN)–The tea party lost a battle for a key House committee Tuesday as the House Republican Steering Committee selected Michigan Rep. Fred Upton over Texas Rep. Joe Barton to head the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.
Tea party activists had been campaigning against Upton, whom they felt was not conservative enough. Barton has been the top Republican on the committee since 2005, and his GOP colleagues declined to give him an exemption to a three-term on Republicans to serve on the top committee.
But Barton released a statement pledging support for Upton.
"Now I want to offer my congratulations to Fred, who is taking over the best committee in Congress," Barton said. "He has an enormous job ahead, and I'm going to do everything I know how to make his chairmanship the kind of success that the American people want and expect."
House veterans also lost the chairmanship of the key Appropriations Committee – which will be ground zero for upcoming battles over spending bills and the Republican efforts to defund the new health care law. Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers won out over California Rep. Jerry Lewis and Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston. All three Republicans have requested earmarks in the past, but Rogers has pledged to support the GOP ban on all earmarks.
These slots must be approved by the full House Republican Conference at a meeting Wednesday morning.
Speaker-designate John Boehner put out a statement supporting the new lineup of committee chairs, saying all are committed to "helping small businesses create jobs, cutting spending, repealing the job-killing health care law, protecting life, and reforming the way Congress works."
Full committee lineup that will be voted on tomorrow is:
Agriculture Frank D. Lucas (Okla.)
Appropriations Hal Rogers (Ky.)
Armed Services Howard P. "Buck" McKeon(Calif.)
Budget Paul Ryan (Wis.)
Education and Labor John Kline (Minn.)
Energy and Commerce Fred Upton Mich.)
Financial Services Spencer Bachus (Ala.)
Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
Homeland Security Peter T. King (N.Y.)
Judiciary Lamar S. Smith (Texas)
Natural Resources Doc Hastings (Wash.)
Oversight & Government Reform Darrell Issa (Calif.)
Science & Technology Ralph M. Hall (Texas)
Small Business Sam Graves (Mo.)
Transportation & Infrastructure John L. Mica (Fla.)
Veterans Jeff Miller (Fla.)
Ways & Means Dave Camp (Mich.)