After being named a Homeland Security subcommittee chair in late September, Underwood no longer on House panel overseeing CISA, as well as committee to oversee PRO Act
Last fall when McHenry County Blog published its article concerning Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D, IL-14) being named a subcommittee chair on the House Homeland Security Committee, I pointed out several observations including the following:
“While Underwood’s elevation to a subcommittee chair was out of necessity, one cannot see the timing, within 40 days of the November election, to coincide with Underwood’s reelection campaign as well as prepare her for the usually vigorous Chicago Tribune editorial endorsement interview.
“Underwood, along with Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D, NM-02) and Congressman Max Rose (D, NY-11), is one of three first term committee members elevated to chair a subcommittee. Both Torres Small and Rose face tough fights for reelection, and this promotion would betray the contest between Underwood and Republican Jim Oberweis is not settled, either.“John Lopez, “Lauren Underwood Named Subcommittee Chair on House Homeland Security Committee”, McHenry County Blog, 9/25/20 with emphasis added
As the election turned out, Underwood narrowly won reelection over Republican Jim Oberweis by less than 2 percentage points. Additionally, both Xochitl Torres Small and Max Rose lost their reelection bids in their respective districts.
Here’s another reminder of the fanfare Underwood received:
This past Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) announced the final assignments to the 117th Congress House Homeland Security Committee (HSC), and combined with the Democrats listed at the HSC website, the 18-member Democratic majority for HSC no longer includes Underwood.
As announced a month ago today, Underwood was nominated to serve on the very prestigious House Appropriations Committee, which would raise her House committee assignments to four, instead of the standard three.
Thursday’s announcement by Pelosi included Underwood serving her 2nd term on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
UPDATE 1/20/21: Thanks to tweet this morning from the Congress Changes Twitter BOT, it was documented Congresswoman Underwood will no longer serve on the Education & Labor Committee (ELC) in the 117th Congress.
So to balance Underwood’s committee assignments, her HSC and ELC assignments had to go, given her Appropriations Committee assignment is much higher profile.
Losing her HSC assignment means she lost her subcommittee gavel as a chairwoman.
The new Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa De Lauro (D, CT-03) has not yet announced the assignments to the 12 Appropriations subcommittees, so a very outside chance Underwood may be named a subcommittee chair.
The two most likely subcommittee assignments given Underwood’s work in the 116th Congress are:
- Homeland Security
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
The latter subcommittee was chaired by De Lauro so it will need a new chair. The next in seniority on the Labor Subcommittee currently chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee, so De Lauro could choose to rotate some of the subcommittee chairs and create a potential higher profile opening for a 2-termer like Underwood to fill.
However, unlike HSC, where seniority clearly did not rule subcommittee chairmanships, the Appropriations Committee is steeped in the seniority tradition, so not likely Underwood will wield a subcommittee gavel anytime soon on the Appropriations Committee.
It will be Chairwoman De Lauro’s call, with coordination of the Speaker and House Democratic Caucus, chaired by Hakeem Jeffries (D, NY-08).