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 GomezHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs The Hill's Coronavirus Report: CDC predicts US death toll could reach 145,000 by July 11; Premier President Michael Alkire says more resiliency needed in health supply chain Hillicon Valley: Senate Republicans, DOJ target Section 230 | Facial recognition under the spotlight | Zoom launches E2E encrypted beta 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 SánchezDozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Five things to watch for at this year's Oscars Klobuchar wins endorsement of prominent Hispanic lawmaker Linda Sanchez 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 AguilarHouse panel approves amendment barring DACA deportations Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Dozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House 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 Becerra23 state attorneys general sue DeVos over student loan forgiveness change Massachusetts sues Lyft, Uber for allegedly misclassifying drivers as contractors California to sue over new Trump student visa restrictions 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 NealTop Democrat calls for oversight of Trump's demand for review of universities' tax-exempt status Pandemic highlights need for federal long-term care insurance Supreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress MORE [D-Mass.] in using every tool at our disposal to protect the most vulnerable communities in my district and across the nation.”