The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee made its recommendations for most committee chairmanships in the new Congress this week.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ, 6th) will lead the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Pallone will be tasked with pushing forward the Democrats’ agenda on climate change and lowering health care costs – two major legislative initiative for Democrats in the next Congress and in 2020.
In recent weeks, Pallone has fought back against establishing a new select committee on climate change stating the committee already has the tools and infrastructure in place to tackle climate change effectively. Many incoming freshmen, including Rep.-elect Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY, 14th), are self-described hardliners on environmental issues and have proposed the creation of a new climate change committee.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD, 7th) will be the top Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Investigations.
Cummings will be ready to wield subpoena power as chairman of the Oversight Committee and will be aggressive in investigating the Trump administration scandals on everything from potential violations of the emoluments clause to possible impeachment. Along with incoming Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY, 10th), they will lead the charge in expanding oversight of the Trump administration.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA, 43rd) will chair the Committee on Financial Services. Waters stated she will focus on protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices; expanding affordable housing; and ensuring safeguards to prevent another financial crisis. She also said a main priority of the committee will be to ensure the regulatory agencies under the Trump administration, specifically the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are not harmed or dismantled by any of his appointees. While Waters is a left-leaning Democrat, she is seen as a dealmaker and can accommodate both factions of the party.
Here is a full list of House Democratic Chairs for the 116th Congress:
- Agriculture: Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL-MN, 7th)
- Appropriations: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY, 17th)
- Armed Services: Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA, 9th)
- Education and the Workforce: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA, 3rd)
- Energy and Commerce: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ, 6th)
- Financial Services: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA, 43rd)
- Foreign Affairs: Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY, 16th)
- Homeland Security: Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS, 2nd)
- Judiciary: Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY, 10th)
- Natural Resources: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ, 7th)
- Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD, 7th)
- Science, Space and Technology: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX, 30th)
- Small Business: Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY, 7th)
- Transportation and Infrastructure: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR, 4th)
- Veterans’ Affairs: Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA, 41st)
- Ways and Means: Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA, 1st)
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