Monday, October 30, 2006

Probable Committe Chairs When The Democrats Take The House

"A House Democratic majority -- should it happen in the Nov. 7 midterm elections -- would install a new lineup of veteran lawmakers to influential posts. The final say on committee chairs would be decided when the House convenes in January, but a few of the more prominent chairs probably will go to:

Ways and Means: Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who has represented Harlem for 36 years, would head the committee where all tax bills originate. Rangel has been a consistent opponent of President Bush's tax cuts and can be expected to push Democratic proposals for tax cuts narrowly aimed at the poor and middle class. Rangel has worked with Republicans on trade issues but is expected to push for stronger protections for American workers.

Judiciary: John Conyers, D-Mich., has represented the Detroit area for 42 years. He is the second-longest serving member of the House and one if its most liberal. Conyers was a member of the Judiciary Committee when it voted articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974. Last December, Conyers introduced a resolution calling on the House to form a committee to investigate the Bush administration's war policies "and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.'' He has been a consistent critic of the Patriot Act, and the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance and military tribunal policies.

Government Reform: Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, has represented portions of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood for 32 years, and is expected to become the Democrats' chief congressional investigator. As chair of the panel's Health and Environment subcommittee prior to the Republican takeover in 1994, Waxman held high-profile hearings on AIDS, Medicaid benefits and drinking water. It was during a 1994 Waxman investigation into tobacco companies during which executives famously testified that nicotine was not addictive and they did not market to children. Waxman has expressed interest in investigating Iraq reconstruction, including Halliburton's no-bid contracts, the response to Hurricane Katrina and homeland security spending should he become chair.

Energy and Commerce: John Dingell, D-Mich., is the longest-serving member of the House, arriving in 1955, when Nancy Pelosi was still a teenager. Dingell has led tenacious inquiries into energy and communications monopolies as well as the Department of Energy labs run by the University of California, and is expected to launch oversight hearings into the Federal Communications Commission if he becomes chair. Representing the Detroit area, Dingell has opposed raising fuel efficiency standards and helped Republicans thwart gun control legislation, which puts him at odds with a number of Democratic colleagues.

Financial Services: Barney Frank, D-Mass., has represented the Boston suburbs for 26 years and is widely regarded as possessing one of the sharpest minds, and tongues, in Congress. That he is often featured in Republican campaign attacks probably has more to do with his homosexuality and his liberal voting record than any particular financial service issues. As chair of the committee that oversees banking, Frank is expected to work to expand the availability of loans to the middle class and the pool of available housing. "

Read more here.

The men pictured above are the Republicans worst nightmare come to life, especially when they start holding hearings in January.

I don't know about you but that makes me very, very happy.

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