House Democrats Fill Remainder of Committee Leadership Posts

February 8, 2017

Last week, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives filled the remainder of their posts on subcommittees for the new 115th Congress.

On the House Appropriations Committee, the ranking minority members of the key transportation and infrastructure subcommittees stayed the same as in the last Congress, but there has been a lot of shifting below that level. On the Transportation-HUD subcommittee, David Price (D-NC) remains ranking member and Mike Quigley (D-IL) remains second, but Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have left and been replaced by Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA), respectively.

On the Homeland Security subpanel, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) remains ranking member and Price and Cuellar remain on the subcommittee. But Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) has been replaced by Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD).

On the Energy and Water Development subcommittee (which funds Corps of Engineers water resources projects), Democrats gained one seats. Kaptur remains ranking member, and Pete Visclosky (D-IN) remains on the subpanel. Mike Honda (D-CA) lost his bid for re-election and Roybal-Allard stepped down – they have been replaced with Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Aguilar, and Jose Serrano (D-NY).

On the Homeland Security Committee (currently in exile in the Ford Office Building while their permanent offices in the Cannon Building are torn down and reconstructed), the chairman decided to slightly rejigger the subcommittee structure this year. The old Transportation Security subcommittee (of which Kathleen Rice (R-NY) was ranking member) is now the Transportation and Protective Security subcommittee, and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) is the new ranking member. Filemon Vela (D-TX) remains the ranking member on the Border and Maritime Security subpanel.

On the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, there was also a small shakeup in subcommittee jurisdiction. In the last two Congresses, there was a Transportation and Public Assets subcommittee chaired by the very senior Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who used that post to hold memorably rancorous hearings about Amtrak and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Mica lost his bid for re-election, and the subcommittee has been abolished and replaced with a new Intergovernmental Affairs subpanel. But the jurisdiction of the other five subcommittees on the panel does not appear to have changed at all, so oversight jurisdiction over Amtrak and WMATA probably remains at Intergovernmental Affairs – but new chairman Gary Palmer (R-AL) is not a former Transportation chairman like Mica and probably won’t be so obsessed with his former jurisdiction. The new ranking member on Intergovernmental Affairs is Val Butler Demings (D-FL), replacing Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who was elected to the Senate last November.


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