House Democrats pick DeLauro to lead Appropriations panel
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) will be the next House Appropriations Committee chairwoman following a Thursday vote by the House Democratic Caucus.
DeLauro, a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), has served in the House since 1991. She will be at the helm of the powerful committee which oversees funding for the entire federal government.
She’ll be the second woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee, filling the vacancy left by retiring Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
The Democratic Steering Committee, which decides members’ committee assignments, voted earlier this week to recommend DeLauro for the Appropriations vacancy over Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who also vied for the gavel.
House Democrats voted to ratify DeLauro’s recommendation with 148 votes over Wasserman Schultz’s 79, according to a Democratic aide, after Kaptur dropped out of the race.
DeLauro will take over the role when the new Congress takes office in January.
Lowey has served as the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee since 2013. DeLauro currently chairs an Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments.
In a statement, Lowey praised DeLauro as “a legislative partner of mine for three decades” and “a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable people in our nation.”
“More importantly, Rosa has been one of my closest friends for my entire tenure in Congress. I treasure the memories we have made together, particularly our work with Speaker Pelosi to elevate issues of special importance to women and families that earned us the sobriquet DeLoSi,” Lowey said.
DeLauro also co-chaired the Steering and Policy Committee before stepping aside to run for the Appropriations slot.
Congress is in the midst of negotiating an all-encompassing omnibus spending package to keep the government funded past Dec. 11, when current funding expires. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that he thinks that a temporary stopgap known as a continuing resolution may be necessary.
Shelby said Thursday that negotiators are “working famously” and that staff will work through the weekend.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) pushed back on the pessimism about reaching a deal by next week, saying during a House Democratic Caucus call on Thursday that “if we think it will not get done, it will not get done,” according to a source on the call.
If Congress does turn to a stopgap that goes into 2021, DeLauro would be responsible for trying to negotiate a massive spending bill as a Biden administration begins coming into place next year.