U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) has been nominated to serve on the House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee.
Appropriations is considered one of the most coveted assignments by members of Congress. The House GOP Steering Committee made the committee recommendation last Thursday.
The Appropriations Committee has jurisdiction over all federal discretionary spending. The committee originates the annual appropriations bills that fund most federal government agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Interior, which provides funding for the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Beutler, southwest Washington's Congressional delegate who won re-election in November, was already actively involved with the House Appropriations Committee prior to Thursday's recommendation. For instance, last June she introduced an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill to prohibit federal funding from being used to wall off the Interstate 5 freeway through Chehalis and Centralia -- an unpopular proposal that would have worsened the impact of flooding in the Chehalis Basin.
"Serving on the Appropriations Committee will put me in a great position to continue serving the families and communities of Southwest Washington," Beutler said. "I'll work to make sure that important Southwest Washington priorities are adequately funded -- but I will also be looking to save taxpayer dollars wherever possible. From this committee, I can make sure federal agencies are being accountable to citizens, help curb excess and job-harming federal regulations, and ensure we're spending at a responsible level that allows our economy to recover."
With the retirement of Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Beutler will be one of only two members of Congress, Republican or Democrat, from the Northwest to serve on the Appropriations Committee, and the sole member from Washington.
As a member of this exclusive committee, Beutler will forgo her positions on the Small Business and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. The change in committees will not reduce Beutler's ability to work on transportation or small business issues, since the Appropriations Committee determines the annual spending levels for the agencies under the jurisdictions of the Transportation and Small Business committees.