Lewis spokesman Jim Specht said the chairman is campaigning for Calvert to get a future slot on the appropriations committee. He noted that Republicans on the committee are expected to either retire or run for statewide office, leaving future openings for which Lewis will continue to push Calvert. Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The opening on the panel was left when San Diego Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham resigned Congress after pleading guilty to charges he accepted bribes from contractors. Calvert noted that with the changes, Texas will have six seats on the powerful panel while California will have four. That, he said, could make it harder for California to improve its rate of return – currently 79 cents for every tax dollar California residents send to Washington. Tim Ransdell, director of the California Institute for Federal Policy Research, a D.C.-based think tank, said California is proportionally under-represented on the panel. But, noting that the chairman is Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, Ransdell said he isn’t overly worried. “It’s not good, but I think it’s more than made up for by having a Californian who’s the boss,” Ransdell said. “If you’ve got to have one, it might as well be the chairman.” WASHINGTON – Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay has muscled a Southern California Republican out of the running for a slot on the coveted House Appropriations Committee, potentially frustrating California’s quest for a greater share of federal funding. Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Riverside – who had been widely considered to be on a short list for an opening on the panel that handles the federal budget purse strings – said this week that DeLay’s announcement that he intends to seek the position almost certainly shuts him out. “For now, I’m out. I had a good opportunity to get the seat,” Calvert said. “I hope to try again the next legislative session.” While GOP leaders will not vote on the assignment until they return from recess later this month, DeLay – the Texas rep who held a spot on the panel until 2003 – is expected to get his wish.