Just a day after Democrat Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker of the House, the congresswoman from California named two party colleagues from South Florida to the powerful House Rules Committee.
Longtime Rules Committee member U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida’s 20th Congressional District will once again sit on the committee. He’ll be joined by freshman U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala of Florida’s 27th Congressional District. That’s according to Brad Howard, chief of staff for Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Orlando.
The appointments would give the Florida delegation a sizable say in how bills are debated during the 116th Congress.
The Rules Committee is in charge of setting the parameters after a bill gets out of a committee, but before it goes to a final vote. The panel decides how long a bill can be debated, how and whether amendments can be offered, and other important sticking points regarding the passage of legislation.
While Hastings is an unsurprising pick, having served on the committee for years, the selection of Shalala is a notable accomplishment for the freshman congresswoman. Shalala is taking over the seat held by longtime U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who decided to retire in 2018.
Shalala defeated her Republican opponent, Maria Elvira Salazar, in November.
Additional committee appointments for the U.S. House are expected early next week.