Millender-McDonald Plans Full Review

Posted January 28, 2005 at 6:44pm

To prepare for her new role as the top Democrat on the House Administration Committee, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (Calif.) said last week she will undertake a full review of House operations.

“The people who haven’t really gotten to know me will get to know me,” said Millender-McDonald, who has served on the committee since 2003 and was named ranking member earlier this month.

In addition to formal discussions with House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Millender-McDonald said she planned to meet with a host of legislative branch officials, including House Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen and Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman.

In preparing for her new role, the Golden State lawmaker said she is drawing on her past experiences as a personnel director, gathering information from a wide range of House staff to help determine her priorities.

“You can’t do anything until you talk to everyone who is involved,” Millender-McDonald said.

Among the issues Millender-McDonald said she plans to assess is the progress of perimeter security across the Capitol campus.

Additionally, the California lawmaker said that she will focus on services for both Members and their staffs, such as e-mail systems and health benefits.

“Members have talked about various services that could be enhanced,” she said. But Millender-McDonald declined to discuss specific programs, noting it would be premature to do so before completing her review.

Ney, who spoke with Millender-McDonald following her Jan. 19 appointment, said he looks forward to working with the Democratic lawmaker.

Both Ney and Millender-McDonald said last week they planned to meet formally but have had preliminary conversations on election reform hearings the panel will begin holding in February.

Millender-McDonald replaced Connecticut Rep. John Larson as the panel’s top Democrat after Larson was appointed to a seat on the exclusive Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.

The panel’s Democratic membership also includes Rep. Robert Brady (Pa.). As of press time Friday, Pelosi had not named an appointment to fill the Democrats’ third seat, vacated by Larson.

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) appointed Rep. Candice Miller (Mich.) to round out the panel’s Republican membership, which also includes Reps. Vernon Ehlers (Mich.), John Mica (Fla.), John Doolittle (Calif.) and Tom Reynolds (N.Y.).