Pelosi leads Dems’ wave of change in committees

first_imgCommittee on House Administration: Juanita Millender-McDonald, California. Born in the South as the civil rights era began to emerge, Millender-McDonald, 68, brought the movement and her experiences as a black woman into politics. In the House, she has opposed school vouchers and supported liberal positions on small business opportunities, women, children and the economy. A political pragmatist, she voiced concern about electronic voting machines during the 2004 elections. Committee on International Relations: Tom Lantos, California. Lantos, 78, a Holocaust survivor and moderate founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has been an influential fixture on the International Relations Committee as term-limited Republican chairmen came and went. Lantos has been critical of the administration’s handling of Iraq, despite playing a key role in passing the original resolution authorizing the war. He usually backs administration policy in the Middle East, including staunch support of Israel. Committee on the Judiciary: John Conyers, Michigan. After more than 40 years in Congress, Conyers, 77, is the second most senior member of the House and one of its most liberal members. He has a reputation for making little effort to get along with colleagues who don’t share his beliefs, and his influence is sometimes hindered by his refusal to compromise. A champion of black causes, Conyers has used his Judiciary Committee seat to criticize the Iraq war and to push legislation urging Congress to determine if there are grounds to impeach President Bush. Committee on Veterans Affairs: Bob Filner, California. Filner, 64, a staunch liberal who is fond of loud political stunts, has called on veteran’s groups to march on Washington to call for increased benefits. He was an outspoken critic of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Administration Secretary Jim Nicholson after it was revealed in May that personal data on 26.5 million veterans had been stolen. Filner also has worked to restore benefits to Filipino veterans and is heavily involved in immigration and border security issues.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A look at some of the new Democratic leaders and likely committee chairmen in the U.S. House: Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi, California. Pelosi, 66, has led House Democrats since 2002 and becomes the nation’s first female speaker. A self-confident leader and power broker, Pelosi has demanded party loyalty on key Democratic issues such as health care and education. As speaker, the liberal Democrat from San Francisco has said she would work to curb the power of lobbyists and to roll back GOP tax cuts for higher-income Americans. Committee on Appropriations: David Obey, Wisconsin. Obey, 68, has led the Democratic opposition, with some success, to Bush’s cuts in education, health care and other domestic programs. He’s intelligent and, occasionally, quick-tempered. But with 36 years in the House, he’s also an inside player who negotiates effectively with Republicans and Senate counterparts. Committee on Education and the Workforce: George Miller, California. Miller, 61, is a steadfast liberal known for giving fiery speeches against the Republican majority. He worked with the White House to negotiate the No Child Left Behind education legislation in 2001, when President Bush nicknamed him “Big George” to acknowledge Miller’s key role in passing the bill. But Miller, co-chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee and a staunch ally of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, doesn’t hesitate to complain when he disagrees with his own party. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Committee on Energy and Commerce: John Dingell, Michigan. Dingell, 80, the longest-serving member of the House, has had a hand in major legislation for half a century. A moderate who has sided with Republicans on issues such as gun control and partial-birth abortion, Dingell has never been known to avoid a fight since being elected in 1955. When chairing the Energy and Commerce Committee from 1981 through 1994, he was a tough government watchdog, a reputation he’s maintained throughout President Bush’s tenure. Committee on Standards of Official Conduct: Howard Berman, California. Berman, 65, could be in line to lead the ethics committee if Democrats win the House, but that chairmanship is far from certain. Berman has a reputation for being able to work across party lines and is known for his legislative prowess in the House. His work on a Judiciary Committee panel that deals with emerging Internet technologies is important to the entertainment industry prevalent in his district, and he also serves on the International Relations Committee. Committee on Financial Services: Barney Frank, Massachusetts. Quick-witted, opinionated and sometimes abrasive, Frank, 66, is a skilled political debater who has emerged as a national figure on issues ranging from gay rights to financial services. After more than two decades in Congress, he ranks as one of the House’s most reliable liberal voices and fiercest critics of the Bush administration. Committee on Government Reform: Henry Waxman, California. Waxman, 67, a diligent liberal and a deft politician, has a reputation for playing watchdog over the executive branch. A partisan for the camera and a pragmatist for his causes, Waxman sparked a fight with Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force in a battle that wound up in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also worked to compile a database of misleading statements made by members of the Bush administration during buildup to the war in Iraq. Committee on Homeland Security: Bennie Thompson, Mississippi. Thompson, 58, has made a name for himself in the House by casting a series of votes dissenting from his more conservative Mississippi colleagues. He opposes the war in Iraq, voted to ban assault-style weapons, supported federal abortion-rights protections and voted to lift the ban on gays in the military. In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he urged the White House to increase Homeland Security funding for rural areas. last_img

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