Moving Fossella to new committees
With the change of power in the House to a Democratic majority comes many changes, one of them being committee assignments. Democrats being the party in power will now control all of the Committee Chair positions, as well as the majority of the seats on each committee, relative to the percentage of the House they control. Because of this there will be a shake up in committee assignments for Republicans.
Should the Democratic party play hardball with the Republicans who controlled the majority for years and played fast with the rules, they may want to look at reassigning or blocking certain Republicans from returning to their old committees. Our favorite member, Rep. Vito Fossella served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Financial Services during the last term. Those committees are probably going to lose at least 6 and 4 Republican members respectively with the new House make up.
It has been noted before that Rep. Fossella often fails to do much of anything in Congress and can't even get meaningless floor motions to pass, like the one he tried to pass thanking the Vatican for their hospitality when members of Congress attended the Pope's funeral. Fossella is ineffective at best, and justifiably should probably be taken off one or both of these committees and reassigned to something more menial that suits his abilities. The side benefit, and reason for suggesting these moves is that Rep. Fossella receives large amounts of financial support from the industries that benefit from limited oversight by these two committees; financial institutions and real estate/housing. Fossella's largest sector donations come from the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector, a total of nearly $1.5 million in donations and influence, $358,790 of that just in the last election cycle.
2004-06 Donors (via Opensecrets.org)
1. Securities & Investment: $109,500
3. Real Estate: $86,050
4. Insurance: $60,250
5. Health Professionals: $52,700
7. Accountants: $37,400
9. Commercial Banks: $33,790
However I do not suggest arbitrarily moving Fossella for the sake of just eliminating the financial benefits of the committees he served on. I think his services are better needed elsewhere, and the service to his constituents can be better delivered with his assignment to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, where he can back up his rhetoric of protecting our VA hospitals and supporting our veterans. The irony of that change is probably more optimism on my part than reality, however the possibility of this committee changes are not just fantasies on my part;
via the Staten Island Advance;
There are already issues of uncertainty. Fossella is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Committee on Financial Services, and his status on those panels "remains to be seen," he said.
This is actually something I should keep a closer watch on. Should Fossella get moved from one of his committees he served on last term (04-06) consider that a good sign that this seat is on the DCCC's list in 08 and that they are going to start the race early.