January 28, 2011

NEW COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT: SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

I am pleased to have been selected for a seat on the influential Senate Finance Committee.  We have been in the worst recession since the Great Depression and, as a member of the Finance Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to develop policies that will spur our economic recovery.

The Finance Committee provides that opportunity and it covers many of the issues that I dealt with during 17 years on the House Ways & Means Committee - issues that include access to quality health care for all Americans and preserving U.S. jobs and fighting for fair trade laws that will help American businesses.  

During my tenure on Ways & Means, I served as Ranking Member of the Human Resources and Trade subcommittees, and I also served on the Health and Social Security subcommittees.  I now look forward to bringing much of the expertise and experience I developed on Ways & Means to the Senate Finance Committee.

That experience helped accomplish many legislative achievements.  During my time in the House, many of my financial proposals were enacted into law, including allowing Americans to contribute more money to their retirement plans and helping low-income individuals save for retirement. Also enacted into law were my proposals to expand Medicare to include preventive benefits, extend benefits to children in foster care until age 21, and expand welfare-to-work opportunities to provide greater job training.

From international trade issues to health care to Social Security and job creation, members of the Finance Committee are instrumental in developing and overseeing policies that will help grow our economy and create job opportunities for Americans. I look forward to the challenge of playing a key role in getting our economy moving again.    

During the 112 thCongress, I also will be serving on the Environment and Public Works, Foreign Relations, Budget, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.  While I will be giving up my seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I still will be working with my former colleagues on that committee to advance civil rights protections, reform our criminal justice system, and improve our nation's cybersecurity.