House Dems finalize Budget panel; Becerra bumped

House Democrats on Tuesday finalized the party's Budget Committee membership for the 112th Congress, bumping the panel's third-ranking Democrat in the process.

Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, no longer has a seat on the panel charged with authorizing the spending priorities of the federal government. 

The Democratic Steering Committee last week had named 15 of the 16 spots reserved for Democrats on the Budget panel following the midterm elections. Becerra was included on that list, but the full caucus postponed its final vote of approval until this week. Over that span, Becerra was dropped, while Reps. Bill Pascrell (N.J.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.) were added.

Becerra's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shuler's inclusion is seen as a nod to the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition.

The Budget Committee is scheduled to gather on Wednesday for an organizational meeting, followed by a hearing on the fiscal consequences of the new healthcare reform law.

Democrats on Tuesday also filled several other outstanding committee slots. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.) was newly named to the Foreign Affairs panel; Rep. Linda Sanchez (Calif.) found a spot on the Veterans' Affairs Committee; and Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) and Charles Gonzalez (Texas) both kept their seats on the House Administration panel. 


—This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.