Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins race to lead House Appropriations Committee

"I respectfully ask for your consideration and support."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she’s looking to chair the House Appropriations Committee after the U.S. House convenes following the 2020 elections.

“As we experience one of the most consequential periods in our democracy, I am increasingly reminded of the very important power that rests solely with the Congress, a co-equal branch of government,” Wasserman Schultz wrote in a letter submitting herself for the Chair role.

“We must ensure that as we move into a new decade, we have a strong and strategic leadership to bring about sensible, 21st century reforms that will make the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) process more inclusive, accessible and even more transparent for all Members.

“As a veteran Appropriator who recognizes the need for reform, I respectfully ask for your consideration and support as I embark on a campaign to serve as Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations for the 117th Congress.”

Wasserman Schultz was rumored to pursue the position in the next Congress. She confirmed that with the Thursday evening letter.

The South Florida Democrat pointed to her 11 years of experience on the Appropriations Committee, including serving as the first woman to chair the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee.

The powerful Chair position would put Wasserman Schultz back in a position of power following her controversial tenure as head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Wasserman Schultz was eventually forced to resign following the 2016 firestorm, which was caused by Wikileaks’ release of a trove of DNC emails. The U.S. Intelligence Committee has identified those releases as an attempt to interfere in that year’s election by agents of Russia.

Those emails showed Wasserman Schultz deriding Bernie Sanders as he challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Wasserman Schultz was a longtime Clinton backer.

DNC National Secretary Mark Paustenbach also sought out ways to undermine the Sanders campaign through the press.

Sanders has said the process was rigged against him. The release of those emails did prompt Wasserman Schultz to resign her leadership post, temporarily removing her power as a major player in the party.

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio have also said they would make a bid for Appropriations Chair. The caucus will elect a successor for Chair Nita Lowey of New York — who is not running for reelection — next year.

“As both a strategic and knowledgeable Appropriator known for a strong work ethic, I can bring generational diversity to our Caucus’ committee leadership and usher in needed reforms to the process,” Wasserman Schultz wrote.

“I am confident I can work with you to address the needs of your district, as well as advance our Democratic priorities.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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