The congressional career of freshman Dem Jared Polis is off to an auspicious start, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday naming the incoming 2nd Congressional District representative to the influential Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Polis told the paper that being the freshman representative on the committee of 54 Democratic congressmen gives him and by extension his district a voice in deciding which House members serve on which committees in the 111th Congress in January. “It puts me in a strong position to advocate for Colorado and move the Congress in a progressive direction,” he said.
The importance of the committee was exemplified Thursday when members voted to recommend House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) take over the leadership of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), a staunch defender of the auto industry, who has long obstructed climate change legislation. Waxman’s daring, and successful, move to bump off a senior congressman signals that the House may not hold sacred the historic, and often politically frustrating, seniority system for determining committee leadership.