January 17, 2019

Congress Begins Finalizing Committee Rosters

With the 116th Congress officially commencing on January 3, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are finalizing assignments for the committees with direct jurisdiction over health care.

In the Senate, jockeying for positions on the coveted Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committees has concluded, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announcing their full membership rosters.

As of publication, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives have announced the chairs, ranking members and new members serving on the powerful Committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. House Republicans still need to announce the ranking member on the important Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has assumed leadership of the Senate Finance Committee, following the retirement of Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Grassley will be joined by three new Republican members: James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Todd Young (R-IN). Rounding out the GOP committee roster are Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA).

Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) are the two new Democratic members on the Senate Finance Committee. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will remain the ranking member, with Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Robert Casey (D-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) filling out the roster.

Freshman Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mike Braun (R-IN) headline the new GOP members on the Senate HELP Committee. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who recently announced his retirement effective at the end of the 116th Congress, will remain chairman. Additional Republican HELP Committee members include Mike Enzi (R-WY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tim Scott (R-SC).

Freshman Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is the only new Democrat on the HELP Committee. Patty Murray (D-WA) will continue as the ranking member joined by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Robert Casey (D-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Doug Jones (D-AL).

With the Democrats winning control of the House, Congressmen Richie Neal (D-MA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will assume the gavels in the Committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, respectively. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Greg Walden (R-OR) will serve as the ranking members on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, respectively. House Democrats also revealed that Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) will serve as the chair of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.

Although an official announcement is still pending, it is widely anticipated that Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) will be chosen to chair the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Among minority House Republicans, Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) will serve as ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is the front-runner for ranking member on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

New Democratic members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are Marc Veasey (D-TX), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Nanette Barragan (D-CA), Don McEachin (D-VA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Darren Soto (D-FL) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).

Gwen Moore (D-WI), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Don Beyer (D-VA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Brad Schneider (D-IL) Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Steven Horsford (D-NV) are new Democratic members on the House Ways and Means Committee.

New Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee include Reps. Ron Estes (R-KS), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA). Greg Gianforte (R-MT) will serve as the lone new member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Government Relations staff has strong relationships with House and Senate members serving on the health care committees of jurisdiction. We are looking forward to working with these elected officials in the 116th Congress. ACR members with senators and representatives on these key committees are urged to stay in close contact with their elected officials to keep them informed about the ACR’s positions on key health care issues.