One site for Breaking News, Politics, Sports, Entertainment & more!

Newz Chooze
Back

Three former Democratic House members who were again elected in 2018 appear to have the inside track to gain seats on highly sought-after House committees. Newly-elected Democratic Reps. Ed Case of Hawaii and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona are being considered for spots on House Appropriations, and Steven Horsford of Nevada is being considered for Ways and Means. All three are on the final slates for the committees but their assignments will not be finalized until the entire caucus votes in the coming days. Senior Democrats are hoping the move satisfies a progressive push to get some of the most outspoken liberals on influential committees. But freshman lawmakers fired back in a Wednesday meeting of Steering and Policy Committee members and leadership where committee assignments were being decided. The freshman members argued that while Case, Kirkpatrick and Horsford are technically in the class of 2018 they've all served before. Since Democrats won the new majority, liberal groups like Justice Democrats have waged a pressure campaign on Democratic leaders, calling for progressives like newly-elected Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Katie Porter of California to be assigned to "key" committees including Appropriations and Ways and Means. Leaving the meeting, Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), one of the two freshman representatives in leadership, said she is hopeful that party leaders will ensure new members are in strong committee slots. “What we’re fighting for is to get the freshmen on the best committees possible,” Hill said. “We’re making the case. Everyone knows we have to maintain the majority — that means freshmen need to be able to go back to their districts and say this is what we’re doing.” As of Wednesday evening, the Steering and Policy Committee had only run through nominations for the Appropriations, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. “In my 12 years here, I don’t think there’s ever been a freshman on Approps, Ways and Means or Energy and Commerce," said Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.,), chair of the Budget Committee. “I’ve never known anything different. I mean we thought we had a case for that when we came in in '06 because we helped take the majority back and that didn’t make any difference," said Yarmuth, who was first elected to Congress in 2006. Justice Democrats also pushed for vocal progressive members like Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) to be appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. Khanna said he made his case to Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be appointed to the exclusive panel but admitted that it's an "uphill" battle. Khanna said that he is all for freshmen getting slots on the more coveted committees, which are typically awarded based on seniority. "I'm for shaking things up and getting some new voices, I respect seniority and I think it's important to respect that and committee chairs, but a good balance would be to get some of the new members on," Khanna said, adding that he would have "no problem" if a freshman got appointed over him and doesn't think he should have "any claim based on having been here one more term." There are many Democratic members however, who have served three to four terms and are still fighting to get those ever-elusive committee positions. “When you first get here you should go through — as I did — a self-imposed period of schooling,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who was first elected in 2004. “You’re trying to figure out where the traps are and people you should not irritate. Because this place will teach you lessons and sometimes they’re very painful.” Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine]]>