While she’s no longer in charge of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., continues to move up her party’s ranks in Congress.
Wasserman Schultz took over the DNC in 2011 and helped then President Barack Obama win a second term in 2012. But Democrats suffered some major losses in 2014 and, after Wikileaks released emails indicating Wasserman Schultz and the DNC helped ensure former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton would defeat U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for the party’s presidential nomination, she resigned that post back in July. Sanders backed law professor Tim Canova against Wasserman Schultz in a congressional primary at the end of August but she took 57 percent to win renomination and went on to beat Republican Joe Kauffman in November.
Even with those setbacks, Wasserman Schultz, already part of the Democratic congressional leadership as chief deputy whip, continues to move up the ladder on her side of the aisle.
Wasserman Schultz announced on Monday that she had been named to the U.S. House Budget Committee. She said she intended to use her new assignment to defend Obama’s health-care law.
“With a seat on the House Committee on the Budget, I will use my voice and my vote to confront Republicans and the new administration on their vengeful quest to take health care away from millions of newly insured Americans,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacement will result in higher health care premiums and massive medical industry job losses. Our nation’s budget isn’t just a spending blueprint; it’s a detailed statement of our nation’s values, and protecting America’s working families is a value I will vigorously defend.”
That’s not Wasserman Schultz’s only new assignment. From her perch on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Wasserman Schultz will lead Democrats on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. She is also joining the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee is the only committee in the Congress that serves those who serve our country in both service and retirement,” Wasserman Schultz said. “This new Military Construction and Veterans Affairs assignment will provide an excellent opportunity for me to do even more to improve the lives of veterans and their families throughout Florida and across the country. I look forward to helping shape the Military Construction-VA bill, which is an absolutely critical piece of legislation in Congress to improve our veterans’ lives as well as steering the construction of our nation's military infrastructure around the world.
“As a member of the Appropriations’ Energy and Water Subcommittee, I will be able to aggressively confront the funding challenges we face in our effort to restore the Everglades,” she continued. “Previously, on both veterans and Everglades’ issues, I have often been fortunate to find common ground with my Republican colleagues. My goal in this Congress will be to build on that bipartisan success. “
Now 50, Wasserman Schultz is a veteran of Florida politics. She started as an aide to then state Rep. Peter Deutch in 1988 and won his seat in the Florida House in 1992 when he was elected to Congress. After facing term limits in 2000 after eight years in the House, Wasserman Schultz was elected to the Florida Senate where she served four years before replace Deutch in Congress.
READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS