Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will run for the chairmanship of the powerful House Armed Services Committee after the elections.
A spokesman for Forbes confirmed that after months of flirting with a run, the congressman has decided to challenge Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) for the top spot on the panel.
Forbes last month told The Hill that he was eyeing a bid because he believed the GOP was moving in the wrong direction on national security issues.
“When we talk about national defense and where we are you have too many people just kind of nodding, that you know, this is just where we are,” Forbes said. “We have to make a fundamental decision in our party, whether we will just be the manager of a decline toward mediocrity or whether we will have the leaders chart a new course.”
His decision sets up a contest to lead Congress’s largest panel, which is responsible for crafting the House’s version of the annual authorization bill for the Defense Department.
The committee also provides oversight of the military, a role that is sure to grow as the Obama administration leads an international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Forbes, who already heads up the committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces subpanel, is known across Capitol Hill for his attention to naval issues.