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Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri will helm the powerful House Ways and Means Committee this Congress, as Republicans embark on a promised era of slashed spending and scrutiny of the pandemic response.

Ways and Means oversees spending and payments for a wide range of federal health programs, often overlapping with work and legislation on other committees including Energy and Commerce. But Smith and the other Republican contenders for the top job largely focused on potential tax reforms and kept the details of their health priorities light in the lead up to Monday’s steering committee decision on the new chairmanship.

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