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Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today announced the Senate Democratic committee memberships for the 2nd Session of the 115th Congress.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will join the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  Whitehouse released the following statement on his new assignment:

“I thank Senator Schumer for his confidence in me.  It will be an honor to serve on the Senate Finance Committee.  This post will help me continue to address issues Rhode Islanders care about most, like protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and making our tax code fairer for middle-class families.  It will also give me new opportunities to advance policies I’ve been fighting for since I arrived in the Senate, like improving how we deliver health care and battling climate change.  And I’m proud to say Rhode Island is now represented on the two most powerful committees in the Senate.  I look forward to getting to work.”

The Finance Committee is charged with considering legislation on a range of key issues for Americans, including taxation, customs and trade, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and other health and human services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund.

With Whitehouse’s new assignment, Rhode Island now has representation on two of the Senate’s most powerful committees.  Rhode Island’s senior Senator, Jack Reed (D-RI), is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which writes legislation to allocate funding across the federal government.

“This is good news for Rhode Island,” said Senator Reed.  “Senator Whitehouse is following in the footsteps of the late Senator John Chafee, who used his seat on Finance for the betterment of Rhode Islanders when it came to healthcare, tax policy, and trade.  I know Senator Whitehouse will make the same effort to reach across the aisle and find solutions just as Senator Chafee did.  This committee assignment is a recognition of Senator Whitehouse’s expertise and hard work and puts him in an even better position to advocate for Rhode Island priorities.”

In light of his new assignment, Whitehouse will leave the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Special Committee on Aging.  Whitehouse will maintain his positions on the Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, and Budget Committees.

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