For those of you that doubted my analysis, “neener, neener.” The Committee chairs were given strictly on seniority and I guessed correctly that Boxer would get Environment, Dodd Banking, and Feinstein Rules. Here are the chairs:
Agriculture: Tom Harkin (Iowa)
Appropriations: Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
Armed Services: Carl Levin (Michigan)
Banking: Chris Dodd (Connecticut)
Commerce: Daniel Inouye (Hawaii)
Energy: Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico)
Environment and Public Works: Barbara Boxer (California)
Finance: Max Baucus (Montana)
Foreign Relations: Joe Biden (Delaware)
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: Edward M. Kennedy (Massachusetts)
Homeland Security and Government Affairs: Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut)
Judiciary: Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
Intelligence: Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
Budget: Kent Conrad (North Dakota)
Aging: Herb Kohl (Wisconsin)
Veterans: Daniel Akaka (Hawaii)
Rules: Dianne Feinstein (California)
Joint Economic: Charles Schumer (New York)
Indian Affairs: Byron Dorgan (North Dakota)
Here are the assignments for the freshman Senators. I told you Bob Casey wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Judiciary. I have to say though that I am very disappointed that two more men have been assigned to Judiciary. I really thought Amy Klobuchar should get a slot. She was an attorney general after all. Diane Feinstein remains the only woman on the committee responsible for vetting judges. That’s weak.
Sherrod Brown (Ohio): Agriculture, Banking, H.E.L.P., Veterans
Benjamin L. Cardin (Maryland): Environment/Public Works, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Budget, Small Business
Bob Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania): Agriculture, Banking, Foreign Relations, Aging, Joint Economic
Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota): Agriculture, Commerce, Environment/Public Works, Joint Economic
Claire McCaskill (Missouri): Armed Services, Commerce, Homeland, Aging, Indian Affairs
Bernie Sanders (Vermont): Energy, Environment/Public Works, H.E.L.P., Budget
Jon Tester (Montana): Banking, Energy, Homeland, Veterans, Small Business, Indian Affairs
James Webb (Virginia): Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Veterans, Joint Economic
Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island): Environment/Public Works, Judiciary, Intelligence, Budget, Aging
Jon Tester got ranked 100 in seniority, behind Bob Corker, based on a formula that considers prior government experience and the population of the home state. He’ll get the last pick on office space. Somehow, I don’t think he will mind.
Some observations on the assignments. Tester did not get a seat on Appropriations as Reid suggested he would during the campaign. He did get Banking and Energy, which should allow him to bring home some bacon. His most high profile position will be on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, where he will be able to oversee the functioning of the executive branch.
Whitehouse got plum jobs on Intelligence and Judiciary.
As expected, Webb will be a ‘national security’ Democrat.
Claire McCaskill is happy to use her experience as an auditor on the Homeland Security committee. She also landed a job on Armed Services. With Ike Skelton taking over the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Missouri has a lot of new clout when it comes to landing weapons contracts.
Klobuchar landed a seat on Commerce, but otherwise was shut out.
Sherrod Brown will be able to help Ohio’s economy with his seats on Banking and Agriculture. He’ll be a friend of labor with his seat on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP).
Bernie Sanders is taking over on the same committees held by Jeffords, so Vermont shouldn’t feel too much of a change.
Cardin will have a high profile with his seats on Foreign Relations and Judiciary.
Bob Casey should be able to help Pennsylvania with his positions on Agriculture and Banking. But his biggest profile will be on Foreign Relations. It’s good that he sits on Aging because Pennsylvania is the second oldest state in the country after Florida. He should have no influence over women’s health, except when the whole Senate votes.