By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Now that Democrats have captured control of the House for the next two years, the party’s most senior members are poised to regain the wide-ranging power of committee chairmanships.
While some of the Democrats have gained fame in feuds with President Donald Trump, others are relatively little-known outside of Capitol Hill.
A look at the Black Democratic lawmakers expected to wield the gavels and shape the party’s top priorities:
Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Cummings, 67, will likely head the committee that could make life the toughest for the Trump
White House because of its broad investigative powers.
Cummings would likely seek Trump’s business tax returns and other company-related financial records. He said he will work to make the president accountable, but will also challenge Republicans to uphold their oversight responsibilities, saying, “I think we as a body can do better.”
The Maryland Democrat, who represents parts of Baltimore city and most of Howard County, has said he would also like the committee to examine prescription drug prices and whether some states have engaged in voter suppression.
“We cannot have a country where it becomes normal to do everything in Trump’s power to stop people from voting,” Cummings said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
He would also seek to bring Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross before the committee to testify about the decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.
Financial Services Committee
Waters, 80, is expected to chair a committee with oversight of banks, insurers and investment firms. She has opposed Republican-led efforts to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and is promising colleagues that she will prioritize protecting consumers from abusive financial practices. The California lawmaker, whose district centers on south Los Angeles County, can also conduct aggressive oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and steps it has taken to reduce enforcement actions against student lenders, pay-day lenders and others.
The president railed against Waters on the campaign trail this year, frequently mentioning her during his rallies. Waters accuses Republicans of serving as Trump’s “accomplices.”
Education and the Workforce Committee
Scott, 71, is poised to lead the Democratic oversight of changes that Secretary Betsy DeVos has enacted at the Education Department. The Virginia Democrat, who represents parts of the Tidewater area, has told colleagues that he would continue work to free students from the burden of crippling debt, ensure workers have a safe job environment and conduct rigorous oversight to the administration’s “deregulatory agenda.”
Homeland Security Committee
Thompson, 70, of Mississippi, will lead aggressive oversight of actions that the administration has taken on immigration, including its “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all adults caught crossing the border illegally and putting their children under the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee will also examine the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, incidents of domestic terrorism by U.S. citizens and what can be done to ensure election security. He represents the western and central parts of Mississippi.
Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.