With New Committee Assignments, Vermont's Congressional Delegates Gain Stature | Off Message

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bernie Sanders
With New Committee Assignments, Vermont's Congressional Delegates Gain Stature

Sanders' staff confirms he'll serve as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Congressman Peter Welch - CHARLES STECK
  • Charles Steck
  • Congressman Peter Welch

Vermont's congressional delegation will have new clout on Capitol Hill next term thanks to a couple of promotions bestowed upon the three-member team.

Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) office on Wednesday confirmed earlier reports that he's been named chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. That's the first chairmanship Sanders has earned during his more than two decades in Washington.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appointed Sanders to the post after promoting its current chairwoman, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), to head the Senate Budget Committee. Sanders was the next-highest-ranking Democrat-aligned member of the panel not already chairing another committee.

"It is a great honor to be named chairman of the committee, but it is an even greater responsibility," Sanders said in a written statement. "We owe it to the over 22 million brave veterans living in the United States to provide the benefits that they have earned and deserve."

On Thursday, Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced that he's reclaimed his old seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Welch was first tapped for the committee in 2009, but was bumped after the 2010 election, when Republicans took over the House and claimed a majority of seats on each panel.

The committee's portfolio is unusually broad: it handles policy relating to health care, energy, the environment, telecommunications, public health and trade. Spokesman Scott Coriell says Welch will particularly focus on making health care more affordable, increasing energy efficiency and curbing climate change.

Welch was also named by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) to the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee — a leadership panel that determines committee assignments and sets policy for House Dems. Its membership is dominated by those loyal to Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other top Democrats.

Coriell says it remains unclear whether Welch will retain his current assignments to the House Agriculture Committee and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The delegation's most senior — and most powerful — member, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), does not expect any changes to his assignments, his office says. He'll remain chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, number two on the Senate Appropriations Committee and most senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He also chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations.

Disclosure: Paul Heintz worked as Peter Welch’s communications director from November 2008 to March 2011.

Tags: , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz was part of the Seven Days news team from 2012 to 2020. He served as political editor and wrote the "Fair Game" political column before becoming a staff writer.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Off Message

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation