FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Senate Republican leadership announced its picks for new GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday, and Sen. Ted Stevens wasn't among them.
Stevens, R-Alaska, had asked for a seat on the committee. Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., told reporters last week that he wouldn't be appointing Stevens.
Instead, the open seats went to Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.
Stevens declined to talk about his effort and referred questions to Lott's office. Calls to Lott's office weren't returned.
Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for Committee on Committees Chairman Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., said senators weren't talking much about the appointments.
Three Republican senators on the Budget Committee were defeated in the 2000 election, which would have left three places open for new Republicans. But the GOP had to give up one seat to balance the committee according to Lott's power-sharing agreement with Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. Lott and Daschle reached the agreement after the election left the Senate split 50-50 be-tween the parties.
Stevens continues to serve as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes the 13 federal spending bills each year. The Budget Committee first writes the annual resolution setting spending caps that potentially limit the appropriators.
The limits can be exceeded, and often are, but doing so allows other members of Congress to raise procedural objections that can tie up passage of a spending bill.
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