WASHINGTON (WTNH) — Third Congressional District representative Rosa DeLauro has been selected to be the next House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman.
Described as “the workhorse” and “a force-of-nature” by her colleagues, the 77-year-old was chosen by an overwhelming vote of 148 to 79 by the House Democratic Caucus.
An influential panel of her colleagues recommended DeLauro for the position Tuesday, according to The Hill.
The Steering Committee voted in favor of DeLauro Tuesday over Dem. National Party Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
News 8 spoke with Congresswoman DeLauro after the vote. She was elated and emotional, “It’s very much of an honor.”
Rep. DeLauro credits others in the Connecticut delegation for whipping up her votes to win.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is retiring the seat as Chairwoman, who last year became the first woman to hold that position. As only the second woman to hold the chairmanship, DeLauro is the first elected official from New England to wield such influence.
Congressional members from Massachusetts were also chosen to chair two other committees Thursday, making New England the most influential region in the country.
“We are looking at our part of the country to have grown in its ability to deliver for the people in our region,” added DeLauro. “I said to my colleagues today, ‘we should never lose sight of what this institution means in terms of lives of people we serve and what it can mean for them to have a better chance at a better life.'”
“People are suffering and desperate and are looking to the federal government, as they rightly should for relief, and that’s a moral responsibility we have to get something done,” she said.
DeLauro says she’s hopeful that Congress will pass a COVID-19 Relief bill before the end of December. That bill would have to run through the House Appropriations Committee to get funding out to the states.
The House Appropriations Committee is responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities. It controls more than a trillion dollars in spending, a big chunk of the federal budget. Subcommittees include homeland security, energy and water use, transportation, and more.
Governor Ned Lamont and Lieutenant Governor Susan Byscewicz are among those who have sent well wishes.
Representative DeLauro has always been a fighter in Congress on behalf of all the residents of Connecticut. I am thrilled to see that her colleagues in Congress saw that same determination and selected her as chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
Working families across the country will have a true champion ensuring that their voices are heard over the special interests and that they have a seat at the table as we all work together with President-elect Biden and his administration to build back better from this pandemic. We are incredibly proud to have Representative DeLauro representing her constituents and our state in this vitally important role.”
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz applauded DeLauro in a statement Thursday saying,
I am so happy for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Rosa is a hardworking and thoughtful policy expert, who, for decades has been a fierce advocate for Connecticut residents and a champion for working families across the nation. Her experience is unmatched and her political acumen is unparalleled. As Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, her steadfast leadership will ensure equality and opportunity for all.”
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker also sent his congratulations Thursday:
I want to formally congratulate Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on her tireless public service to the New Haven community and for this new role she will serve in the House of Representatives. She is an incredible advocate for this community, just like her mother, former Alder Luisa DeLauro. It runs in her blood.
Today marks an indelible win for our working families, our teachers, our first responders, and all those struggling to have their voices heard. I am excited to continue working with Congresswoman DeLauro and her incredible team to make New Haven and our region a place where everyone can thrive, no matter where they live.“