Tom Graves scores spot on defense spending panel

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Tom Graves will join the House appropriations subcommittee on defense spending, a win for Georgia after losing huge influence on military issues in last year's wave of departures.

Graves, of Ranger, will serve on the defense and financial services appropriations subcommittees, in addition to chairing the subcommittee overseeing the legislative branch -- which makes him the most junior "cardinal" in the House.

First elected in a 2010 special election, Graves is now Georgia's top Republican on House appropriations, after the departure of Jack Kingston, who served on the defense subcommittee. Retired U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss served on the Armed Services Committee, but his replacement, David Perdue, did not get a slot there.

Here's what Graves has to say in a forthcoming press release:

"These subcommittee assignments will allow me to serve my constituents even more effectively. With eight major military installations in Georgia, it's critical for our state to have representation on the Defense Subcommittee. And with the broad influence of the Financial Services Subcommittee, I'll have the opportunity to help shape important funding legislation from a conservative viewpoint. Above all, I will work to ensure the Committee continues putting taxpayers first by finding savings and holding government agencies accountable for every dollar that is spent."