December 14, 2006
Space chosen for transportation committee post
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON – Rep.-elect Zack Space has tentatively landed a spot
on a key transportation committee that would give him a platform
for steering federal spending projects to his district.
The Dover Democrat’s predecessor, convicted ex-Rep. Bob Ney,
R-Heath, also served on the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee. He used the position to direct federal
transportation funds to the 18th District – including $52
million as part of a highway bill passed last year.
Democrats also announced Wednesday that two-term Rep. Tim Ryan,
D-Niles, has been chosen for one of the most coveted assignments
– the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Ryan said in a statement he looks forward to “using my new
position to promote more opportunities for economic development
throughout our region and Ohio.”
The committee determines how more than $800 billion in federal
spending is allocated among government agencies and programs.
Historically, its members have been able to use their clout to
designate millions of dollars in special projects to their
Ryan, who is viewed as a rising star among Democratic lawmakers,
will join his congressional district neighbor, Rep. Ralph Regula,
on the appropriations panel.
Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, has served as vice chairman of the
committee in recent years, but he will have less influence when
Democrats take control of the panel in January.
The Ryan and Space assignments, along with dozens of other
Democratic nominations to House committees, require approval by
Democratic lawmakers in what is typically a rubber-stamp
House Democrats are next scheduled to meet Jan. 3 and may vote
on the committee assignments then, said a representative for
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Pelosi is designated to become the
next speaker of the House.
The transportation committee was Space’s second choice after the
Energy and Commerce Committee. The latter panel would have given
him a chance to work on one of his highest priorities: the
promotion of alternative forms of energy.
Space has said he also thought the transportation committee
would allow him to “do a lot of good for the district.”
Ryan was able to press his bid to join the Appropriations
Committee after Pelosi named him to a Democratic steering
committee that makes committee assignments.
Two other freshmen lawmakers from the area also received
committee assignments this week.
The steering committee named Rep.-elect Charlie A. Wilson, D-St.
Clairsville, to the Financial Services Committee. Wilson is
replacing Rep. Ted Strickland, who was elected the next governor
Rep.-elect Betty Sutton, D-Chardon, was chosen to serve on the
Rules Committee. She succeeds Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, who
was elected to the U.S. Senate.