Bustos Named Steering Committee Co-Chair, DeLauro Making Bid for Appropriations

November 12, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has been nominated to serve as co-chair of the Democratic caucus’ Steering and Policy Committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday.

Bustos will replace Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, who informed the speaker last month of her decision to run for chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

The steering committee is considered a key assignment as it is the body that recommends committee assignments to the Democratic Caucus and has a hand in a wide range of policy matters.

Bustos’ potential elevation to the committee comes just 24 hours after she announced she would not seek re-election as the Democrat’s congressional campaign chief following an unexpected string of losses in last week’s elections.

In a letter to her colleagues released Monday, Bustos said she was “gutted” at the losses the party sustained on Election Day and said she would begin “a transparent after-action review to better understand why the national polling and modeling environment failed to materialize — not just for House races, but also up and down the ballot from the presidential to Senate and state legislative races.”

Several members of the caucus had been privately critical of her handling of the election, complaining she lost sight of their needs in order to pursue an aggressive strategy to try to flip battleground states like Texas.

In her letter, Bustos had said her immediate plan was to focus her efforts legislatively “to help President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as we build back better for the people.”

DeLauro is vying to replace outgoing Appropriations chair Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, who is retiring at the end of the 116th Congress.

Other contenders for the top spot on Appropriations include Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.

In a dear colleague letter dated Sept. 9, DeLauro said she is committed “to helping every member participate in the appropriations process to ensure that the needs of his or her constituents are being met.”

She went on to say her own work on the Appropriations Committee has given her “an invaluable perspective on how the funding process can be used to advance our caucus’s priorities.”

“As the former chair of the Appropriations Agriculture, FDA Subcommittee, I developed an expertise on providing for our farmers and ranchers and ensuring our children and families have enough to eat,” she said.

“As the current chair of the Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, I have led the House in passing legislation that includes one-third of all non-defense discretionary spending and touches every aspect of people’s lives from women’s health to early childhood to their education to Social Security.

“I am especially pleased that in this year’s bill, we were able to include the vast majority of the over 15,000 member requests we received,” DeLauro added. “Thanks to those suggestions, we were able to pass a bill that helps us meet the needs created by the current unemployment crisis and make critical investments in all levels of education, from early childhood education to graduate programs.

“Just as importantly, I made sure our bill implemented Majority Whip Clyburn’s innovative 10-20-30 plan. As you know, the Clyburn plan allocates at least 10% of funding to counties where 20% of the population has lived below the poverty line for 30 years or more. We did this in the Labor-HHS bill, and I’ll make sure it will become standard practice in all our appropriation bills. It will be an important step in finally dealing with entrenched poverty in so many parts of our country,” DeLauro said.

Among the reforms that she has proposed are that meetings be held at each stage of the appropriations process to identify members’ key issues and desired outcomes; that freshman members be provided with an appropriations-dedicated session during their orientation; that bi-weekly or monthly meetings be held with the subcommittee chairs to guarantee better communication and stronger teamwork; and that the committee emphasize collaboration with Republican counterparts, including initiatives to deliver better domestic and national security results.

DeLauro has been endorsed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and National Education Association President Becky Pringle.

On Wednesday, Pelosi thanked her for “long standing service and leadership” on the steering committee.

Of Bustos she said, “Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is a leader of great integrity and inspiration, and I am pleased to nominate her to fill this important role … Strengthened by the values of the heartland, Congresswoman Bustos will serve our caucus well in her new position.”

The Speaker also announced the nominations of Reps. Eric Swalwell and Barbara Lee, both of California, to serve as co-chairs of the Steering and Policy Committee for the 117th Congress.

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

White House, Congress Aligned on Cybersecurity Goals
Cybersecurity
White House, Congress Aligned on Cybersecurity Goals
June 16, 2021
by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON - As Congress edges closer to putting a final infrastructure bill on President Joe Biden’s desk, it looks like lawmakers and the White House are aligned in their commitment to bolster U.S. cybersecurity through increased federal investment, focusing on prevention and utilizing public-private partnerships to... Read More

Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
Political News
Congress Begins Investigation of Alleged Justice Dept. Abuses
June 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members of Congress and journalists during the Trump administration. The committee’s chairman said he was concerned the Justice Department “used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy... Read More

Rep. Greene Apologizes for Comparing Safety Masks, Holocaust
Congress
Rep. Greene Apologizes for Comparing Safety Masks, Holocaust

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene apologized Monday for affronting people with recent comments comparing the required wearing of safety masks in the House to the horrors of the Holocaust. "I'm truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust," the Georgia Republican told... Read More

U.S. Military’s Authority for Force in Iraq Faces Revision or Repeal
Congress
U.S. Military’s Authority for Force in Iraq Faces Revision or Repeal
June 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Drone strikes and missiles struck near American targets in Iraq only days before Congress on Monday discussed ending its authorization for U.S. troops to use force in the country. No one in Congress disputes that anti-American forces in Iraq want to kill U.S. soldiers,... Read More

Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
Congress
Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
June 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional hearing Friday gave a boost to part of the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan that seeks to resist the devastation of climate change. Lawmakers said building infrastructure that is resilient to disasters caused by global warming is a better option than rebuilding after... Read More

Bipartisan Antitrust Package Seeks to Rein in Tech Giants
Congress
Bipartisan Antitrust Package Seeks to Rein in Tech Giants
June 11, 2021
by Dan McCue

House lawmakers on Friday introduced sweeping antitrust legislation aimed at restraining the power of large tech companies and preventing corporate consolidation across the economy. Introduced by Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Antitrust Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Buck, R-Colo., the five bills are directed squarely... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top