Bay Area House freshmen get committee posts

Congressman-elect Eric Swalwell will serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee while Congressman-elect Jared Huffman will serve on the Natural Resources Committee, according to assignments announced Thursday by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Eric SwalwellSwalwell, D-Dublin – who unseated fellow Democrat Pete Stark last month – had voiced interest in serving on Transportation and Infrastructure, but this assignment makes sense given that the newly drawn 15th Congressional District he’ll represent includes the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Swalwell said today his assignment “will offer me the opportunity to pursue many of the initiatives I discussed during my campaign. This includes clean energy innovation and the development of alternative energy systems to drive economic growth and create jobs.”

“The focus on technology will also enable me to pursue my ideas for a ‘Mobile Congress’ to use new technologies to adopt rules and practices for the Congress that are in-tune with 21st Century technology and culture,” he added, noting additional committee assignments might be coming in January.

Jared HuffmanHuffman, D-San Rafael, who succeeds Lynn Woolsey and had talked of applying his experience as an environmental attorney, got what he was hoping for. His newly drawn 2nd Congressional District stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge all the way up to the Oregon border – the largest stretch of California coastline of any district, and so a natural resource unto itself.

“The economy of his congressional district is directly tied to California’s natural resources, and the committee plays a critical role in public lands management, fishing policy, tribal issues, and coastal protections,” Ben Miller, who will serve as Huffman’s chief of staff, said today. “With Jared’s background and his interest in resolving natural resource conflicts and advancing clean energy solutions, it’s a perfect fit.”

Here’s how other California members-elect fared:

    Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove – Foreign Affairs
    Raul Ruiz, D-Coachella – Natural Resources

Pelosi also put Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, on the Budget Committee; Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, on the Judiciary Committee; and Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“Our Democratic Caucus is the most diverse in the history of Congress, and each of our Members will bring a unique perspective to the great challenges of our day – from job creation and economic growth to innovation, education reform, and clean energy development,” Pelosi said in her news release. “On every committee, our colleagues will offer their experience, passion, and persistence to the task of effectively and faithfully serving the American people.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    I knew Fiscal Cliff. Fiscal Cliff was a friend of mine. This ain’t no Fiscal Cliff. This is a bull**** cliff. It’s more like a hill side.

    Don’t worry kiddies.

    There will be a compromise sometime in January.

    And maybe a new speaker who can keep his caucus in line.

  • John W

    Doesn’t surprise me that Swalwell wasn’t given his preference. Science, Space and Technology is a pretty cool assignment but doesn’t have the same pork potential as Transportation.