Updated: 2:58 p.m.
The House Democratic Caucus has given its newest member, Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz, seats on the Armed Services and Small Business committees.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), a co-chairwoman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, confirmed that the Caucus approved the committee assignments at its closed-door meeting Tuesday.
Critz, a longtime aide to the late Rep. John Murtha, won a May 18 special election to succeed his former boss.
The Small Business perch will allow Critz to highlight his top campaign theme: promoting job creation in his largely rural Western Pennsylvania district, while the Armed Services post will allow him to be involved in defense issues. Murtha, who represented the 12th district for 35 years, was chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense at the time of his death in February.
Critz was one of a handful of lawmakers to attend a White House ceremony Tuesday morning honoring small-business owners.
Critz faces a rematch this November against his special election opponent, Republican Tim Burns.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the two panels “will be well served by the knowledge and experience Congressman Critz brings with him to his new assignments.”
Pelosi expressed confidence that Critz will be a strong advocate for veterans on Armed Services and will “be a great resource” on the Small Business panel as Democrats “continue to create jobs and ensure economic opportunity for all Americans.”