Merkley wins Appropriations seat; Wyden to chair Energy Committee

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

The Oregonian's Charlie Pope is reporting - via Twitter - two big announcements today regarding Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

The first was widely anticipated: Senator Wyden will chair the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In that role, Wyden will have broad influence on energy policy, national parks, public lands, water policy and much more.

The second is a bit of a surprise: Senator Merkley will now take a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Since Mark Hatfield left the Senate in 1996, Oregon has not had a seat on Appropriations. Appropriations, of course, has tremendous power when it comes to federal spending. No immediate word yet on which subcommittees Merkley will be assigned.

According to Pope, Wyden will keep the rest of his committee lineup - Finance, Intelligence, Budget, and Aging. And Merkley will also serve on Banking, Environment, and Budget - giving up his spot on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Full disclosure: My firm built Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden's campaign websites. I speak only for myself.

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    Great news for Oregon! This appointment has to show that Sen. Merkley has some standing in the Caucus and with Sen. Harry Reid.

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