Washington Congresswomen Kim Schrier (8th CD) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (5th CD) will both serve on the exclusive House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 117th Congress.
Overseeing legislation on issues ranging from health care, energy policy, environmental protections, medical research, and telecommunications, the Committee on Energy and Commerce has the broadest jurisdiction of any authorizing committee in the House. It is also the oldest continuous standing committee in the chamber.
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Earlier this month, McMorris Rodgers was selected by the 30-member GOP steering committee to become the ranking member on the committee, beating out two other contenders, Reps. Michael Burgess of Texas and Bob Latta of Ohio. McMorris Rodgers’ victory will make her the first woman from either party to assume a leading spot on the committee.
I’m honored to have earned the support of my colleagues to serve as the Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This committee is critical to addressing the issues that matter to people in Eastern Washington, like bridging the digital divide, bringing doctors to rural communities, keeping energy rates low, and protecting free speech online,” said McMorris Rodgers in a statement. “We are in a battle for the heart and soul of America. From blatant assaults on free speech, to Medicare-for-All, to the Green New Deal, Energy and Commerce is at the very center of the battles for freedom to beat socialism and hope to beat fear. My goal is to maximize Energy and Commerce to secure America’s and Eastern Washington’s future as the best place in the world to innovate, save lives, and raise people’s standard of living.”
Schrier will be the first Washington Democrat to serve on the committee since Governor Jay Inslee in 2012. Schrier, who in 2018 became the first Democrat to ever represent the 8th CD, served on the Education and Labor Committee and the Committee on Agriculture during her first term.
According to Politco’s reporting, Schrier was among Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s slate of preferred candidates.
After a competitive behind the scenes battle for spots on the powerful committee, Schrier was among five Democrats chosen, alongside Angie Craig (Minn), Lizzie Fletcher (Texas) and Lori Trahan (Mass.), and Kathleen Rice (New York).
Schrier released the following statement following her selection by the Democratic Steering Committee:
I am honored and thrilled to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee next Congress,” said Rep. Schrier. “As our country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, I am eager to put my two decades of health care experience to work overseeing our public health response. As the only woman doctor and first pediatrician to serve in Congress, I look forward to being a voice for America’s 74 million children and to continue my work to lower health costs for families, expand health care access for children and to improve vaccine confidence and coverage. This committee provides the platform to address many of the issues that matter most to my constituents—like rural health care, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, progress toward a carbon neutral future, closing the digital divide and supporting the innovators and job creators in our state’s strong digital, commercial aerospace, and life sciences sectors.”
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