McALLEN, December 13 - Congressman Henry Cuellar has been appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
The Laredo Democrat is the only Texas Democrat to serve on the panel. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Steering and Policy Committee, which includes Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, made the announcement Thursday.
Cuellar said the main purpose of the Committee on Appropriations is to oversee the federal budget, review proposed expenditures and craft the legislation that outlines annual spending for government agencies.
Last week, Cuellar was renamed vice-chairman of the Steering and Policy Committee. He is regarded as a fiscally conservative member of Congress and said being assigned to the House Appropriations Committee speaks to his “continuous efforts” to maintain a balanced budget and reduce the nation’s deficit when allocating federal funds.
“I thank Leader Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership for the trust they have invested in me to become part of the Appropriations Committee. I am honored to be the only Democratic member from Texas to be appointed to the committee,” Cuellar said, in a statement.
“This position will allow me to have a stronger voice to advocate in favor of our middle class and small businesses. I am confident we can work together, Democrats and Republicans, to improve this economy and keep it moving forward.”
Hinojosa is chairman-elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He made this statement on Cuellar’s appointment: “I am very pleased that today my fellow Texan, Congressman Henry Cuellar, was voted in by the full Democratic Caucus to serve on the House Appropriations Committee.”
Hinojosa said he was also pleased that Congressman Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico was elected to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee. “As a member of the House Steering and Policy Committee, I am very proud to have personally nominated them. I am also very happy to know that Congresswoman Linda Sanchez of California was selected to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee. I am looking forward to serving with these fine members in the 113th Congress. I know each will be a powerful and productive addition to these committees,” Hinojosa said.
Cuellar thanked the CHC for its support.
“I would like to thank the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for their support and I look forward to working in a bipartisan matter on the House Appropriations Committee to reduce our nation’s deficit and pass the necessary measures to keep our economy moving forward,” Cuellar said.
“This position will allow me to reinforce my commitment to the middle class, and together with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I will keep advocating for the issues that matter most to small businesses, the Hispanic community, and our nation.”
Lujan is first vice chair-elect of the CHC. He said: “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee and build upon my work on consumer protection and renewable energy. With jurisdiction over a number of issues that impact the daily lives of working families, my position on the Energy and Commerce Committee will enable me to continue my efforts to grow our economy and provide greater opportunities for hard-working Americans.”
Sanchez is second vice chair-elect of the CHC. She said: “It is a privilege to be back on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. The Ways and Means Committee directly impacts the issues my constituents in California care about the most—a fair tax code, strengthened Social Security and Medicare benefits, and trade policies that keep good paying jobs in this country. I am proud to bring my constituents’ voices and their perspective to the committee as we prepare to address critical economic issues confronting our nation’s working families.”