Van Hollen Gets Subcommittee Gavel on Appropriations Panel

    U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Friday he’ll become chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

    The senator will also serve on the Appropriations Subcommittees for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies; and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

    “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, my top priority has been to secure a range of vital investments to build an economy that works for everyone and support strong, healthy communities,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “In Maryland, that includes key investments in our students and schools, modernizing our infrastructure, and protecting our environment, including the Chesapeake Bay.”

    Van Hollen said that with his new subcommittee leadership post, he’d be able to focus on “improving our banking and financial markets to work for main-street Americans, protect investors, and grow economic opportunity for all. I’ll also be working to close the digital divide, increase Americans’ access to broadband, ensure fair treatment of the District of Columbia, and strengthen our campaign finance disclosure laws. And I’ll continue the fight to support our vital federal workforce by providing necessary funding for our agencies and renewing the push for a new FBI headquarters in Maryland.”

    Van Hollen’s predecessor in the Senate, Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), rose to become Appropriations chairwoman, enabling her to steer federal largesse to Maryland.

    Van Hollen’s new subcommittee gavel is just the latest sign of Maryland senators’ climb to prominence under the new Democratic majority in the Senate. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) has just become chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and could be in line for a subcommittee gavel on the Environment and Public Works Committee as well.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.