Debbie Wasserman Schultz Ramps Up Efforts to Be Next Appropriations Committee Chair

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is ramping up her efforts to win a key committee chairmanship on Capitol Hill.

Back in November, Wasserman Schultz announced that she wants to be the next chairwoman of the powerful U.S. House Appropriations Committee. If selected by her fellow Democrats and her party retains the House, the South Florida congresswoman will take over as chairwoman at the start of 2021. The post will be vacant as U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY, the current chairwoman, is not seeking reelection in 2020.

As she maneuvers against U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Ct., in her effort to win the gavel, this week Wasserman Schultz unveiled her plan to create a “House Appropriations Committee Advisory Panel on Equity and Justice” which will “refocus federal spending decisions on the issues and demands of equity, justice, and diversity.”

Wasserman Schultz’s office offered some of the rationales behind her proposed panel.

“The proposed panel would comprehensively review federal programs and the president’s budget requests to identify ongoing inequities in communities of color and historically marginalized communities.  The panel would also look for new opportunities among the House’s 12 annual appropriations bills to direct resources towards communities that have suffered the deepest historical inequities and injustices,” the congresswoman’s office noted.

“I believe the weight of history and the urgency and momentum of the current moment provide an opportunity for that the House Appropriations Committee to lead the way in approaching federal spending decisions with a newfound emphasis on equity and justice,” Wasserman Schultz insisted. “That is why I am proposing the creation of a new House Appropriations Committee Advisory Panel on Equity and Justice. This panel would help the Committee refocus federal spending decisions on the issues and demands of equity, justice, and diversity.

“This is a moment that we cannot afford to miss,” Wasserman Schultz added. “A rare window is open for us to truly adopt reforms that likely we won’t see again in our lifetimes. We must step through this window before it closes.”

Currently in charge of the U.S. House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz’s plan won the support of some key Democrats on Capitol Hill including, according to Politico, U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-SC, and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who leads the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee. In her plan, Wasserman Schultz acknowledged that she supports several ideas of Clyburn who has
proposed a similar panel.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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