House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has appointed Cicilline to the House Budget Committee for the new Congress that convenes in January, an assignment that will put the sophomore lawmaker at the center of some of the Beltway’s biggest battles, her office announced Thursday.
The two top lawmakers on the Budget Committee are both national figures: its Republican chairman is Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s running mate, and its Democratic ranking member is Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, an influential member of the House Democratic caucus.
“The House Budget Committee is a less prestigious ‘B’ level committee in the House, but its profile has risen dramatically under the helm of Rep. Paul Ryan,” Beltway newspaper The Hill noted last week. Cicilline attacked Ryan and his eponymous budget frequently on the campaign trail this year.
Cicilline will also continue to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he’ll be joined by Mass. Congressman-elect Joe Kennedy III. House committees are less intimate than Senate committees: the House Budget Committee has a whopping 38 members, 16 of them Democrats this session.
Cicilline will give up his post on the low-profile House Small Business Committee to join the budget panel. Pelosi did not announce any appointments to the prestigious Appropriations, Rules or Ways and Means committees on Thursday.