On December 10, the House Democratic leadership announced the appointments of members of Congress to fill seats on three important House Committees for the upcoming 110th Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) announced that Congressman Ed Towns (NY) will chair the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Democratic Caucus also approved Congressman John Salazar (CO) and Lincoln Davis (TN) to fill two seats on the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees all spending bills.
The House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax measures, added five new members: Danny Davis (IL), Bob Etheridge (NC), Brian Higgins (NY), John Yarmouth (KY), and Raul Grijalva (AZ).
Congressman Grijalva, who currently chairs the Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, will have to relinquish his seat on the Natural Resources Committee in order to sit on the exclusive Ways and Means Committee. During his tenure on Natural Resources, Congressman Grijalva was a strong advocate for preserving and protecting our natural environment, including public lands, parks, and other important resources. House Republicans selected Doc Hastings (WA) over Utah’s Rob Bishop to serve as the Ranking Minority Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.
The Democratic Caucus also recently voted for Henry Waxman (CA) to be the new Chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee that has jurisdiction over health, telecommunication, energy and environment issues. Other newly-added Members include: Bruce Braley (IA), Kathy Castor (FL), Christopher Murphy (CT) Jerry McNerney (CA), Betty Sutton (OH), Donna Christensen (U.S. Virgin Islands), John Sarbanes (MD), and Zack Space (OH). ASLA has worked very closely with Congressman John Sarbanes on the "No Child Left Inside Act" and with Congressman Zack Space (OH), who championed the Small Community Visioning Improvement Act (H.R. 3374).