CT Democrats Secure Key Committee Quotas in Congress

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D-4 Rep. Jim Hymes said Wednesday that the House Standing Select Committee on Intelligence, this time in the newly divided legislature, will take on committee and leadership roles familiar to members of the Connecticut legislative delegation. was named the top Democrat of

The biggest difference for the delegation is that House members who once chaired powerful committees and subcommittees now serve as key members because Democrats are in the minority. However, some Connecticut legislators, like Hymes, have risen within the ranks of the committee.

Himes’ appointment as a ranking member elevates him to a panel he has served on for the past decade. . But the Speaker of the House ultimately has power over who sits, so the Intelligence Committee functions differently than most committees in Congress.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) blocks two Democrats — former Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) bottom. — from being seated in this session of Congress. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) tapped Hymes to serve alongside Speaker Mike Turner (Ohio Republican) in a vacuum in Democratic leadership.

“The threats to our country are evolving rapidly and it is important that our intelligence services keep up with it. need and deserve the support and gratitude of the , while ensuring that their activities, often in secret, are consistent with our constitutional and moral values. proactive surveillance is essential,” Himes said in a statement.

“I have been fortunate to develop a strong relationship with Chairman Mike Turner during my tenure on the Commission, and I look forward to continuing to work together on our common bipartisan mission,” he added. rice field.

Himes, who will also serve on the House Financial Services Committee, said he would help “open up the intelligence community to more innovative and forward-thinking ways to acquire technology,” and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act section. said that he would like to re-authorize the A United States intelligence agency that conducts warrantless surveillance of people abroad. He expects a major debate on reauthorization and admits some abuses attributed to FISA.

The committee also has jurisdiction over issues related to when Joe Biden was Vice President and the discovery of confidential documents of former Vice President Mike Pence in an insecure location.

The Intelligence Committee has recently been working on political issues, especially those surrounding former President Donald Trump. When the Republican Party was in charge, the commission investigated possible Russian interference in his 2016 presidential election. When Democrats were in control, he played a central role in the hearings during Trump’s first impeachment. But Himes is confident that the committee will be less political than it is now.

“Polarization is unnatural for that committee, and I applaud Speaker McCarthy for appointing really thoughtful, serious people to the committee,” Hymes said. “I think the prospects for the commission to return to normal are good.”

Overall, the Connecticut delegation’s position on the Commission will help shape major legislation such as the 2023 Farm Bill, Future Government Funding Packages, and the Annual Defense Policy Bill.

Rep. Rosa De Lauro of District D-3 is an influential member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Democratic head of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Work and Health.

Democrats lost their majority in the House last year, so she will no longer serve as chair, but when the current funding expires in the fall, she’ll be making plans for an annual bill to fund the federal government and all its agencies. It will continue to influence creation.

Rep. Jahana Hayes of District D-5 was elected as a deputy ranking member by the House Education and Workforce Committee. She also serves on the House Agriculture Committee, which is preparing to enact a new farm bill containing numerous agriculture, food and nutrition programs.

“Since my first term in Congress, I have offered a thoughtful, academically sound, and student-centered perspective to the Board of Education and Labor,” Hayes said in a statement. , we want to continue to raise the voices of teachers, students and workers to advocate for policies that make our education system and workforce fairer and more equitable for all.”

D-2 Rep. Joe Courtney has also moved up the committee ranks within the minority party. He is currently his second-highest-ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee and his third-highest-ranking member on the House Education and Workforce Committee. He has played key roles in both the majority and minority positions on the Seapower and Projectile Forces Subcommittees.

And Rep. Jon Larson of District D-1 will become a ranking member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security after previously serving as chairman.

In the Senate, Democrats still hold the majority and will have more influence on the committees.

Senator Richard Blumenthal’s committee roster will change slightly this Congress. He will resign from the Commerce, Science and Transportation Commission to join the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Commission. He will continue to serve on the Judicial, Military, Veterans Affairs, and Aging Task Forces.

The Judiciary Committee will play a key role over the next two years as Democrats seek to further confirm Biden’s judicial nomination.

“I am delighted to join a committee with such important oversight and investigative powers,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.” “I may no longer be a member of the Trade Commission, but my priorities remain the same: protecting Americans from exploitation, fraud, and abuse will continue to be my driving force. “

Senator Chris Murphy will have the same mandate as in previous sessions, with seats on the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Democratic Operations and Outreach, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees.

One of the biggest changes in the delegation since Congress’ last session is the end of the House Select Committee on Economic Inequality and Growth Equity. Hymes was named chairman of that committee in 2020, but McCarthy has no plans to renew it as Republicans are focused on creating other special committees.

The commission concluded its work last year with a report on policy recommendations to tackle income and wealth inequality, along with a half-hour documentary narrated by actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It’s never been a priority for Republicans,” Himes said. Economic inequality “strikes all districts. In my own very wealthy district, there is considerable poverty. …It’s not really a partisan issue.”


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