U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, has been appointed to the House Rules Committee.
The committee has jurisdiction over every piece of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. His predecessor, Doc Hastings of Pasco, served on the committee for 12 years, before moving in 2009 to the Natural Resources Committee, which he later chaired.
The Rules Committee is chaired by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Newhouse will be its only freshman member and only member from the West Coast, according to a statement.
“It is an honor to serve on the House Committee on Rules, and I welcome this opportunity to bring Central Washington’s perspective to the legislative procedure of the House,” Newhouse said. “Serving on the Committee on Rules will allow the 4th District to have a voice in debate on every piece of legislation that moves to the House floor. I look forward to working with Chairman Sessions and my colleagues on the committee to ensure consideration of conservative solutions.”
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Hastings was criticized by opponents when he was on the Rules Committee because it doesn’t have a direct connection to the Mid-Columbia, according to Herald archives. But he responded that his position on the committee gave him influence over nearly every Natural Resources bill.
That won’t be as much of an issue for Newhouse, who will remain on the Natural Resources and Agriculture committees. But he is giving up his seat on the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Newhouse said when he took office that the Science committee would allow him to work on issues important to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as some Hanford issues.
The new committee gives Newhouse a wider say on all issues important to area businesses and families, spokesman Will Boyington said. That will allow him to continue to be a strong advocate for PNNL.
“Those issues encompass federal energy research and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,” Boyington said.
Newhouse will begin serving immediately on the Rules Committee.