Meet the new bosses coming into Congress
WASHINGTON — With Democrats winning control of the House, these are the politicians expected to assume control of the House committees critical to Texas business and industry.
House Energy and Commerce Committee
Rep. Frank Pallone
With three decades in the House, this New Jersey congressman knows the ins and outs of Capitol Hill. And in a state that counts six oil refineries, he is no stranger to the energy industry. If he ends up helming the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, expect him to delve into how the Trump administration went about rolling back environmental and conservation laws to boost oil and gas production.
House Financial Services Committee
Rep. Maxine Waters
At 80, this California Democrat is a liberal icon and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, with whom she engages in regular sparring sessions through the press. As the likely chair of the Financial Services Committee, expect her to continue her longstanding push to strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and crack down on high interest loan programs targeting students and veterans.
House Science, Space and Technology Committee Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson This 82-year-old congresswoman representing Dallas has been a longtime foil to the current committee chairman, retiring Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, as he sought to undermine climate change research. As chairwoman, Johnson can be expected to ramp up hearings on the dangers of climate change, drawing on her oversight powers over NASA and other federal science agencies. Before politics, Johnson served as chief psychiatric nurse at the veterans hospital in Dallas.
House Ways and Means Committee
Rep. Richard Neal
The former mayor of Springfield, Mass., Neal has represented that state in the House since 1989. Over that time, he has developed the reputation as a moderate on trade, supporting NAFTA and other moves to lower trade barriers with other countries. He was also an opponent of Trump’s tax cuts and is expected to try and roll them back.
House Natural Resources Committee
Rep. Raul Grijalva
The son of a migrant worker from Mexico, this three-term congressman from Arizona is expected to be a stark shift from the drillingfriendly policies of Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, the current chairman. A champion of strengthening oversight of offshore drilling following the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010, Grijalva has earned top ratings from groups including the League of Conservation Voters. Now he will be in a position to examine the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” policy.