My geekiest feature is my obsession with the makeup of Senate committees, so I was impatiently waiting to get the news of how things would be organized in the post-Roy Moore/Al Franken world. And I am pleased. Very pleased.
The full Senate is set to ratify revised committee rosters and ratios before adjourning Tuesday evening.
The changes add a Democrat to the Finance and Judiciary Committees, because each needed new Democrats to provide an across-the-board one-seat advantage for the GOP with their diminished majority.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York announced the new Democratic assignments, which are highlighted by the appointments of Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California to the Judiciary Committee.
Booker and Harris become only the second and third African-American members of the Judiciary panel in American history.
There’s other news, too. You might be interested in this:
Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones will sit on the Banking, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Aging panels.
Sen. Tina Smith, Minnesota’s new appointed senator, has received assignments to the Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources, HELP and Indian Affairs committees.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse landed the coveted seat on the Finance Committee, which is fine by me.
If I was making the decisions, I’d probably give Jones some different committee assignments, but they’re treating him pretty much like any other fresh meat. I expect he’ll want to dive into the education work on HELP, and maybe his spot on banking will make him some friends back home that he can’t afford to have as enemies if he wants to have a prayer of getting elected to a full term.
For the same reason, I worry that he won’t be a solid vote on labor issues which would be really unfortunate for running the HELP committee in the event the Democrats win back a narrow majority.
Tina Smith’s assignments seem better suited to helping her make inroads with the constituencies she’ll need to hold her seat.