Monday, April 05, 2021

House Committee Chairs

Running through a first bunch in alphabetical order:

Agriculture - David Scott, 75, first elected 2002

Appropriations - Rose DeLauro, 78, first elected 1990

Armed Services - Adam Smith, 55, first elected 1996

Budget - John Yarmuth, 75, first elected 2006

Education and Labor - Bobby Scott, 73, first elected 1992

Energy and Commerce - Frank Pallone, 69, first elected 1988

Ethics - Ted Deutsch, 54, first elected 2010

Financial Services - Maxine Waters 82 , first elected 1990

Foreign Affairs - Gregory Meeks 67, first elected 1998

My point is not "lol old people." It's more "it takes a very long time to achieve seniority in the House, which means it takes a long time to have any power at all, which means the career incentives in the House, as in many places, are perhaps not what they should be."

It isn't just that it takes a long time to become a committee chair, it's that so much isn't even done at the committee level anymore. You know, the country is largely run through occasional giant "save the world" bills negotiated between leadership and the president.