Inslee gains a seat on powerful House commerce committee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., won a seat Wednesday on the powerful U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee – the lone Democrat from the Pacific Northwest on the panel that oversees issues ranging from energy and technology to health care.

“Washington state has finally received a much-needed voice in Congress on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and I look forward to vigorously representing the needs of our state,” Inslee said in a statement. “This appointment is an important opportunity to protect the Northwest’s unique energy situation with the Bonneville Power Administration, advance renewable energy programs and ensure the federal government’s commitment to cleaning up” the Hanford nuclear reservation.

Inslee said he would use the seat to promote policies that enhance innovation and growth in the high-tech and biotech sectors, and push to advance the state’s position with the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Inslee a strong voice for consumers.

“Jay is an extremely talented member, and he will be an outstanding addition to the committee,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Inslee’s appointment was announced Wednesday by the House Democratic Steering Committee and is subject to approval by the full Democratic caucus.

The committee, which has jurisdiction over a wide range of business, energy and health-related issues, is widely considered among the top committees in the House.

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