Sen. Patrick J. Leahy has put to rest any speculation that he might seek to assert seniority to become ranking member on the Appropriations Committee in the next Congress.
The Vermonter, who is the most senior member of the Democratic caucus, is sticking around as his party’s leader on the Judiciary panel.
“Barbara Mikulski is doing great work on the Appropriations Committee. We are a great team and as senior member of the committee I’ve told her she has my full support. Democrats have a strong team of leaders across the committees,” Leahy said in a statement. “I have told her that I support keeping her in that role in the new Congress and that I will continue to lead the Judiciary Committee on our side of the aisle.”
Maryland Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski assumed the chairmanship of the Appropriations panel after the death of Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii. Both Leahy and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, passed on the chance to lead the spending panel.
Leahy, current Judiciary Chairman, will become the ranking member when Republicans take control of the chamber for the next Congress. He will hand the gavel over to the current ranking member, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.
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