Kucinich mulls bid for top Gov. Reform slot
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) is mulling whether to make a bid for the top Democratic slot on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a move that could make him a leading voice on issues affecting the District and the federal workforce and a high-profile defender of the Obama administration.
Current panel Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) hopes to stay on as ranking member in the next Congress, switching places with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who will become chairman. But some Democrats have worried privately whether Towns is up to the task, particularly since the media-savvy Issa is expected to launch a number of probes of the White House and its policies.
The current No. 2 man on the committee's Democratic roster, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), lost his reelection race two weeks ago. Rep. Carolyn Maloney is third, but says she supports her fellow New Yorker Towns. And while Rep. Elijah Cummings' (D-Md.) name has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Towns, Cummings said Monday on the Ed Schultz show, "Mr. Towns is the ranking member, I support him and he will be the ranking member."
Next in line is Kucinich, who is currently fifth on the roster. On the same program, he told Schultz, "I'm going to be talking to my colleagues about what would be the best route to take to ensure that the oversight responsibilities of the Congress will, in fact, not be compromised."
A Kucinich spokesman declined to comment further on his boss' intentions.
So far there has been no push from the House Democratic leadership to push Towns out of the job, and any move to do so would draw the ire of the Congressional Black Caucus -- particularly since former CBC chairman Cummings is now on record supporting Towns.
| November 16, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing | Tags: oversight and government reform; dennis kucinich; edolphus towns; elijah cummings; darrell issa
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