Because of a reduction in the number of committee slots, Nevada’s Lone Democratic House Member will serve on one fewer committee during the 112th Congress.
Las Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is going to keep her seat on the Ways and Means Committee, but because of reduction in committee slots, she is going to have to give up the seat she held on House Foreign Affairs.
Berkley has been one of the few lawmakers granted a waiver that has allowed her to serve on both Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs for the last few years. But one of the changes the new GOP leadership made to the 112th Congress was to reduce the number of available committee seats. Berkley’s party waiver no longer applies.
It’s a turnaround that puts Berkley slightly outside of the repeal debate that’s likely to dominate the Health Care Committee in the coming years, but right into the heart of a full review of spending and tax policy that the Ways and Means Subcommittee, launches into bright and early this morning.
Berkley’s seat on the Social Security Subcommittee gives her a direct voice in efforts to find solutions for the growing crises over Social Security and Medicare funding. Her district has a large population of senior citizens, and she is a staunch advocate in favor of maintaining funding for Social Security and a vocal critic of proposals to replace the government-centralized system with private savings accounts, which remains a popular option among Republicans.
The Congresswoman will still have to contend with a reduced voice in policy-making from the simple fact that she’s in the minority party. But having spent most of her congressional career in the minority, she’s used to getting the job done nonetheless.