According to The Wall Street Journal, the change in power on Capitol Hill could potentially elevate the District’s non-voting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, to a more powerful position. Since Minnesota Democrat James Oberstar, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was defeated on Tuesday, the committee’s top Democratic position will be up for grabs. (Republicans will gain the committee’s chairmanship.)
Reports Brody Mullins:
Next in line for the role is Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, who narrowly averted his own defeat on Tuesday. Mr. Rahall is currently the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, so it’s unclear if he would change jobs.
Next in line for the job behind Mr. Rahall is Rep. Peter DeFazio, a liberal Democrat from Oregon who favors increased spending on public-transit projects.
Another Democrat in the running is Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is the elected representative from Washington, D.C. Because Ms. Norton doesn’t represent a state, she isn’t a full-fledged members of Congress. She is permitted to vote on legislation in committees, but she does not have vote on the House floor.
If Ms. Norton becomes the top Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she could draw the ire of tea party Republicans, who are already opposed to government spending — much less spending-bills promoted by a lawmaker who doesn’t have full voting rights in Congress.
Norton currently chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on economic development, public buildings, and emergency management.