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 GomezOcasio-Cortez, Jimmy Gomez do pushups during House hearing break Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns Cohen's charges make getting Trump's taxes even more important 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 SánchezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns Hispanic Dems announce task forces for 116th Congress 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 AguilarPro-business Dem group sees boost in fundraising Left flexes muscle in immigration talks Immigration groups press for pairing Dreamer benefits with border security 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 is right: Healthcare should be handled by the states California attorney general calls for unauthorized immigration to be decriminalized Pelosi announces lawsuit to block Trump's emergency declaration 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 NealOn The Money: Treasury misses second Dem deadline on Trump tax returns | Waters renews calls for impeachment | Dem wants Fed pick to apologize for calling Ohio cities 'armpits of America' | Stocks reach record high after long recovery Treasury misses second Dem deadline on Trump tax returns WH spokesman: Trump 'not inclined' to turn over tax returns to Dems MORE [D-Mass.] in using every tool at our disposal to protect the most vulnerable communities in my district and across the nation.”