Oregon's Smith to head Special Committee on Aging

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Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist this week appointed Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), to chair the Senate Special Committee on Aging in the next Congress. Smith will replace Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who announced earlier this month that he was giving up the Aging chairmanship to pursue the chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee.

A senator since 1997, Smith's appointment is subject to confirmation by the Republican caucus, which is seen as merely a formality. Smith, 52, also serves on the Senate Finance Committee, as well as the committees of Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources and Indian Affairs.

The Aging Committee will have four new members starting in 2005: Sens. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Conrad Burns (R-MT). Craig will also remain a member, despite giving up his leadership post.