WASHINGTON -- One Republican lawmaker's alleged bad behavior led to a prime committee spot for Rep. Tom Emmer Friday.
Emmer told the Star Tribune he tentatively secured a spot on the House Financial Services Committee.
The new post, which still has to be approved by the Republican conference, comes after committees slots shifted around when Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock resigned from Congress after reports of dubious spending of his campaign and official accounts.
The committee is a powerful one, overseeing the entire financial services industry, including the securities, insurance, banking and housing industries.
It also comes with lucrative campaign contributions from the banking industry -- something that will undoubtedly help Emmer as he establishes himself as a freshman member of the Republican caucus.
Emmer replaced Rep. Michele Bachmann, who also had a spot on the committee before leaving Congress last year. In the 2011-2012 cycle, Bachmann raised about $91,000 from the finance industry for her campaign coffers, according to Open Secrets.
Emmer raised $240,000 in his first quarter of this year for himself and for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Angling for a spot on a top flight committee is a little like running a campaign, Emmer staffers said. They have been meeting with members of the Republican caucus, as well as House Speaker John Boehner, since arriving on Capitol Hill.
"It's really about the district," Emmer said. "I'm really excited."
He points out there are almost 60,000 people employed in the financial services industry in his Sixth Congressional District, which houses 150 banks and a dozen or so credit unions.
"There are all kinds of reasons this is beneficial to Minnesota and it will be a steep learning curve but it will be good."
Among the issues Emmer hopes to tackle on his new committee: the Somali remittance problem. Somali-Americans have been stalled from wiring money overseas because the Treasury Department has added new restrictions. Obama administration officials are worried American money is going to fund terrorist operations.
"I understand there's an issue ... but there are a lot of good people relying on the money rather than just having a one-size-fits-all approach," Emmer said.
Emmer will likely have to give up a spot on one of his other committees to take this, though he has asked Boehner to stay on Agriculture and Foreign Affairs.
The Republican conference approval should happen sometime next week.