Dem added to Ways and Means Committee amid desire for more Hispanic members

Dem added to Ways and Means Committee amid desire for more Hispanic members
© Greg Nash

House Democrats' steering committee on Monday appointed Rep. Jimmy GomezJimmy GomezDemocrats press IRS on protecting taxpayers from debt collectors Former undocumented workers fired from Trump properties attend Biden campaign event House Democrats offer bill to expand the estate tax MORE (D-Calif.) to the House Ways and Means Committee, amid a desire by some for more Hispanic lawmakers on the powerful panel.

The announcement comes after House Democrats announced the appointment of 10 other Democrats to the Ways and Means Committee last week. The Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over issues including taxes, trade, health care and Social Security.

A spokesman for Rep. Linda SanchezLinda Teresa SánchezFive things to watch for at this year's Oscars Klobuchar wins endorsement of prominent Hispanic lawmaker Linda Sanchez Democrats slam Trump for USMCA signing snub MORE (D-Calif.) told The Hill that without Gomez on the Ways and Means Committee, Sanchez would have been the only member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on the panel.

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Sanchez and Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger Stone gets over three years in prison; Brutal night for Bloomberg Three members of Congress endorse Bloomberg after raucous debate DCCC unveils initial dozen candidates for 'Red to Blue' program MORE (D-Calif.) told Politico that they thought there was a need for more Hispanic and Southern California lawmakers on Ways and Means. 

But a senior Democratic aide told Politico that the addition of Gomez, and expansion of the number of Democratic members of the committee, was prompted by a desire by Republicans to increase the number of seats that GOP members would get. 

Gomez, a former California state lawmaker, was first elected to Congress in 2017, winning a special election after former Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCalifornia delivers swift suit after Trump orders water diversion States sue Trump administration at record pace California has a privacy law, but will companies comply? MORE (D-Calif.) left Congress to become California's attorney general. Becerra had been a member of Ways and Means.

Gomez said in a statement that he is looking forward "to working with Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE [D-Mass.] in using every tool at our disposal to protect the most vulnerable communities in my district and across the nation.”