Blue Dogs Unveil Policy Task Forces for the 117th Congress

April 30, 2021 by TWN Staff
BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rep. David Scott (GA-13), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Mikie Sherril (NJ-11), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), and Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02). FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Blue Dog Co-Chair Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Whip Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01). NOT PICTURED: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats on Friday unveiled its policy task forces for the 117th Congress.

The task forces oversee policy development for the Coalition, which will deliver on their promise of a positive agenda to produce pragmatic, commonsense solutions that move our country forward and address the needs of every community, from rural and tribal communities to metropolitan areas.

“Our Coalition is policy- and results-driven”, declared Rep. Ed Case, of Hawaii, in a written statement.

The Coalition’s co-chair for policy and legislative strategy went on to say the group’s focus is on “the critical issues of fiscal responsibility, government efficiency, national security, economic development and rural vitality.

“These issues impact and concern mainstream America, and our task forces are organized to take full advantage of our members’ individual and collective interests, expertise, positions and value toward formulating and implementing real solutions,” Case continued. “Through them, our Coalition will pursue a deliberate and inclusive policy development and implementation process with a focus on regular order, including listening to our constituents, insisting on open and transparent debate, utilizing the committee process, considering independent policy analysis, coming to fully-informed decisions, and working with whomever we can to achieve our goals.”

The Blue Dog Coalition Task Forces for the 117th Congress are the following:

Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform

Chair: Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, of Georgia.

Members: Reps. Ed Case, of Hawaii, Jim Cooper, of Tennessee, Henry Cuellar, of Texas, Kurt Schrader, of Oregon, and Mike Thompson, of California.

The Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform is charged with building on the Blue Dog Coalition’s leadership in addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges and enhancing good governance.

The group will pursue smart, balanced policies to rein in the federal government’s persistent annual deficits and unsustainable debt, and they will be responsible for crafting policies that apply strong ethical standards to members of Congress. The Task Force will also seek to improve burdensome, antiquated regulations that undermine job creation, and identify ways to increase transparency and accountability throughout the federal government.

“As someone who spent her career focused on fiscal responsibility issues, I am excited to serve as chair of the Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform,” said Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, of Georgia. 

““As our nation continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that our spending be targeted for maximum impact, responsibly paid for, and that we work to reduce our national debt. I thank chairman Case and all my fellow Blue Dogs for the trust put in me and look forward to working with the Task Force to produce actionable legislative solutions,” Bourdeaux said.

Task Force on National Security

Chair: Rep. Mikie Sherrill, of New Jersey.

Members: Reps. Sanford Bishop, of Georgia, Ed Case, of Hawaii, Lou Correa, of California, Charlie Crist, of Florida, Jared Golden, of Maine, Stephanie Murphy, of Florida, and Brad Schneider, of Illinois.

The Task Force on National Security will proactively engage on issues that promote strong and smart national security for the United States. The group will pursue policies that better protect the American people and its allies, and ensures American leadership around the world.

“It is critical that Congress work with the Biden administration to renew our commitment to our democratic allies and reestablish the role of the United States as a leader in promoting and defending democracies around the world,” said Sherrill.

“We must take every opportunity to advance our national security interests and promote the United States’ place as a global leader on the immense challenges ahead. I’m thrilled to be working with my colleagues as chair of the Task Force on National Security to ensure our efforts include forward-looking, bipartisan policy that reflects the best we have to offer,” she added.

Task Force on Strengthening Rural America

Chair: Rep. Tom O’Halleran, of Arizona

Members: Reps. Sanford Bishop, of Georgia, Jim Costa, of California, Jared Golden, of Maine, Vicente Gonzalez, of Texas, David Scott, of Georgia, and Abigail Spanberger, of Virginia..

The Task Force on Strengthening Rural America will primarily focus on ensuring that rural communities are included in the economic recovery coming out of the COVID-19 crisis. The group will tackle this by focusing on job creation, growing the rural economy, regulatory improvement, increasing access to health care, education, workforce training, and expanding a 21st-century infrastructure to rural communities.

“While many rural economies had still not recovered from the 2008 recession, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn of this past year have further laid bare the ever-widening divide between urban and rural America,” said Halleran, the Coalition’s co-chair for Communications and Outreach and chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Strengthening Rural America. “I’m proud to head Blue Dog Coalition’s Strengthening Rural America Task Force this Congress to ensure that rural communities, towns, and tribes are kept at the forefront of our economic recovery discussions, and to collaborate to better identify legislation that actually works to get the Americans that need it most back on their feet. I look forward to working with my Coalition colleagues to ensure our rural communities are not pushed to the backburner by sending commonsense, bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk for a signature.”

Task Force on Jobs and Economic Growth

Chair: Rep. Lou Correa, of California.

Members: Reps. Henry Cuellar, of Texas, Vicente Gonzalez, of Texas, Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey, Tom O’Halleran, of Arizona, Kurt Schrader, of Oregon, Mikie Sherrill, of New Jersey, and Abigail Spanberger, of Virginia.     

The Task Force on Jobs and Economic Growth will primarily focus on delivering a 21st-century infrastructure to all corners of the country and creating a positive economic climate geared toward boosting growth. The group will advance policies that create good-paying jobs for middle-class Americans and spur economic growth across the country.

“As our nation recovers from COVID, it is imperative that we ensure there are good-paying jobs available for hardworking Americans,” said Correa.

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