Rep. Tim Ryan promoted to ranking committee member

By David Skolnick


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan was promoted to ranking Democratic member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Legislative Branch Subcommittee, a position he said gives him more cache with others on the prestigious committee.

The new appointment, announced Friday, also gives Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, a seat at the table when decisions are made by the leaders of the Appropriations Committee. Appropriations has 12 subcommittees.

The Legislative Branch Subcommittee controls the purse strings of the legislative branch overseeing the spending of the House, the Capitol police, the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office and is the place where members go for better parking spaces and office furniture, he said.

“It’s a leadership position; there’s collegiality with other subcommittee members,” he said.

Also, Ryan will remain on the Defense Subcommittee, which handles U.S. Department of Defense spending, and joins the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which oversees spending on military construction projects, base realignment and closure, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ryan is the third-most senior Democrat on Defense.

He had to give up his seat on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.

“I am proud to have joined the ranks of Democratic leadership on the powerful House Appropriations Committee,” Ryan said. “I look forward to using my position to promote the projects and policies that will lift up hardworking Americans and ensure that our military has the resources it needs to defend our nation.”

Ryan has served on Appropriations since 2009 except for 2011 and 2012 when Republicans took control of the House and lowered the number of Democrats on the committee.

Ryan unsuccessfully challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her post losing 134 to 63 on Nov. 30. At the time, Ryan said he seriously doubted Pelosi would punish him for trying to defeat her.

Ryan said his promotion Friday shows that was true.

“I worked a little magic,” he said. “If [Democrats] take back the House I’ll have one of the cardinal positions.”

Appropriations subcommittee chairmen are called “cardinals” because of the power they have over the federal budget.

Ryan said he is still mulling a 2018 run for governor, but hasn’t made a decision.

“I hate to put a time line on it as there’s a lot to be considered,” he said.

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