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 GomezHouse Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Lawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech 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 SánchezFirst major 'Medicare for All' hearing sharpens attacks on both sides We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns 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.

Sanchez and Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarDemocratic leaders seek balance amid liberal push to go big on immigration Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck 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 BecerraTrump administration rolls back Obama-era lightbulb rules 20 states sue Trump administration over Flores rule California leads states in lawsuit over Trump public charge rule 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 NealTrump urges judge to deny New York's motion to dismiss state tax return lawsuit Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats' agenda MORE [D-Mass.] in using every tool at our disposal to protect the most vulnerable communities in my district and across the nation.”