Democrats Join Key Health Committees in Senate Shuffle
Sens. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., will join the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, according to an announcement Tuesday by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York outlining several committee changes.
Both newcomers, who joined the Senate Democratic Caucus last week, have prioritized health care as issues they plan to explore. Jones has said reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, which actually falls under the oversight of the Finance Committee, is his top priority. Smith, meanwhile, has touted her work on health care and medical costs while previously serving as Minnesota's lieutenant governor.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., will join the Finance Committee, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid among other issues, but will leave HELP in the Senate equivalent of musical chairs.
Both panels now have a one-vote margin after Jones' election cut the GOP majority to 51-49.