by James C. Sherlock
Incredible and statistically unlikely as it sounds, the Commonwealth of Virginia has not a single member on either of the Congressional House or Senate Committees that decide what infrastructure projects are authorized, or on either Appropriations Committee that decides what is spent on such projects and on everything else.
Those projects include the water resources projects such as hurricane and flood mitigation that we have been discussing this week.
The Committees in question are:
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (11 R, 10 D),
- House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (37D, 30R) and
- Appropriations Committees of the House (23 R and 30 D) and Senate (16 R 15 D).
That is a total of 120 House members and 52 senators. And we got swept. Virginia may be unique among the states with zero representation on any of those committees.
Even the non-voting D.C. and Virgin Islands representatives each got a seat – Eleanor Holmes Norton on Appropriations and Stacey Plaskett of the USVI on Transportation and Infrastructure.
So don’t expect any leverage for Virginia in an infrastructure or water resources development bill.
Or anything that goes through the Appropriations committees, which is everything.
The only possible reasons that neither of Virginia’s senators and none of Virginia’s representatives have those assignments is that they are not interested or they don’t have enough leverage with the leadership to get them.
And when I dealt with Congress years back everyone clawed to get assigned to an appropriations committee.
Perhaps our Congressional delegation can explain.
I can’t.There are currently no comments highlighted.