Cartwright Named to Powerful House Appropriations Panel

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced that the Democratic Caucus has elected him to serve on the House Committee on Appropriations, the panel that makes annual spending decisions for all federal agencies and is considered one of the most powerful committees in Congress.

For fully one-half century, between the end of World War II and the turn of the millennium, northeastern Pennsylvania had strong and able representation on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

“For almost a generation now, our area has not had a voice on Appropriations.  I am happy to say that the wait is over.  This is not only a great honor, but also an opportunity to shape spending that can have a tremendous effect on the lives of seniors, veterans, children, students, commuters, federal workers, federal contractors, and military service personnel,” said Rep. Cartwright.  “Every discretionary dollar goes through the Appropriations Committee, and I intend to use my voice and vote on the Committee to protect the health and retirement security of my constituents and to help spur economic growth in the 17th congressional district.”

“I welcome Matt Cartwright as the newest member of the House Appropriations Committee,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.  “Congressman Cartwright has been a vocal and effective leader on behalf of Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District.  I look forward to his joining Appropriations Democrats as we work to invest in hard-working American families, create more good-paying jobs, and build a stronger America.”

The House Appropriations Committee serves an indispensable role as the originator of all annual federal spending bills, as referenced in Article I of the Constitution.  Each year, under normal operating procedure, twelve spending bills are reported to the full House covering areas such as transportation infrastructure, energy development, military construction, education and student loan programs, rural development, environmental protection, and homeland security.  Appropriators wield the “power of the purse” at the programmatic level and enjoy close working relationships with federal agencies and offices as their yearly budgets are set.

“Municipal officials, regional planners, business managers, nonprofit directors, and constituents in the 17th congressional district are not shy about letting me know what’s important to them, and I intend to make those concerns and desires my top appropriations priorities,” continued Cartwright.  “To me, this appointment is an opportunity to be even more responsive to the needs of the six counties I represent, and to help them grow and thrive, even as budgets are tight.”

“We’ve seen comparatively restrictive discretionary budgets under the 2012-enacted sequester law, which runs through 2023,” Cartwright added.  “That’s a law we need to rethink, especially where additional strategic investments would create jobs.”

“Matt Cartwright has consistently proven himself to be a forceful and effective champion for America’s hard-working families,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  “Congressman Cartwright’s tireless leadership has been invaluable to House Democrats’ effort to build a stronger America for all Americans.  In his new role on the Appropriations Committee, Matt Cartwright will be a powerful voice for a budget that invests in America, creates more good-paying jobs, and strengthens hard-working families.”