U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday announced the new top Democrats on House committees, Bloomberg reports (Rowley, 12/5). "Two key global health leaders are among the picks ... [for] the Democratic Ranking Members for 113th Congress House Committees," the Center for Global Health Policy's "Science Speaks" blog writes. "Congressman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) will succeed Howard Berman (D-Calif.) as the top Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee which has programmatic jurisdiction over all global health programs," the blog notes, adding, "Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) will assume the top Democratic post on the all-important House Appropriations Committee -- the committee charged with making annual funding decisions for all federal discretionary programs, including funding for [PEPFAR], global [tuberculosis (TB)] and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria" (Lubinski, 12/5).
"Lowey, who was favored to win, is slated to replace retiring Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who served one term as ranking member, in January," The Hill notes, adding, "Lowey said after the vote that the selection is the pinnacle of her long career in Congress." According to the news service, "[t]he Appropriations panel is one of the most bipartisan in Congress, making the ranking-member slot unusually powerful" (Wasson, 12/4). "Lowey plans to continue to serve as top Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that approves money for the State Department and foreign operations," USA Today writes, adding, "A tradition dating to 1869 allows a Democrat to hold a leadership post on both the full committee and one subcommittee" (Tumulty, 12/4).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.