The outgoing chairman of the Budget Committee, Rep. John Spratt (S.C.), was defeated in his reelection bid last week. Van Hollen, who sits on the Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform committees, is not currently a member of the budget panel, which will be at the center of congressional efforts to reduce the nation’s soaring deficit in the next several years.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), is currently next in line to become the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, but Van Hollen has built up considerable goodwill among House Democrats as chairman of the DCCC, and he would be unlikely to make a move without the support of party leaders.
Van Hollen announced last week that he would not serve a third term atop the DCCC. He helped the party expand its majority in 2008, but he was at the helm as it lost more than 60 seats — and its majority — in the midterm elections last week.