When the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives this January, several representatives from New York State will be the Chairman or members of significant Congressional Committees. They include Rep. Louise Slaughter, (Chairwoman – Rules Committee), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (Chairman – Ways and Means, which controls bills on trade, taxes and Social Security), and Rep. Brian Higgins, (Member – Appropriations and/or Transportation Committee). Additionally, there are already three New York Democratic House Reps. who are members of the Appropriations Committee and five New York Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee. Rep. “Nadia Velasquez of Brooklyn probably will take over the Small Business Committee.”
As chairwoman of the key Rules Committee, Slaughter will become gatekeeper of all bills headed for the House floor. She will be among the top four Democrats in the chamber and the first woman in history to serve as Rules chair. Historically, she will be the single most powerful member of Congress serving the Buffalo Niagara region in a half century.
“This election holds great promise for Western New York,” Slaughter said. “The state’s Democrats will hold powerful positions throughout the House. By running Rules in a responsible way, we will be able to move important legislation written with Western New York in mind to the floor in a timely manner.
The Rules Committee was created as a select panel in the first Congress in 1789. “It is the most important committee that people have never heard of,” said John Santore, Slaughter’s spokesman.
Besides managing the floor agenda, the panel must approve any changes in House rules and has a role in clearing investigations by congressional committees. And it has a hand in shaping codes on House ethics.
It is a powerhouse.
We’re proud of you, Rep. Slaughter, and we wish you success in your new leadership position.