Back in July, First District Congressman Tim Walz announced his intention to seek the Ranking Member seat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
He's succeeded in that bid, Politico's Heather Caygle tweeted on Wednesday:
Dem Steering & Policy picked Walz over Takano for Veterans Affairs ranking member 31-19— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) January 4, 2017
In House Democrats have opportunity for redemption in selecting VA Cmte Leader, commentary in The Hill, Christopher Neiweem and Anthony Paolino wrote of Walz, the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress:
Two years ago, Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) — the veteran community's strongly preferred candidate to command a leadership post on the House Veterans Affairs Committee — was placed to the side by House Democratic leadership while competing for the House VA Cmte leadership job.
This move was made (at the beginning of the last Congress) for political and inner-caucus reasons and cleared the way for Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fl), a longer serving Congresswoman, known for her hyper partisan persona, and combative working relationship with Republicans on the committee.
Politics backfired. . . .
Fortunately, Mr. Walz is back at the top of the list to occupy the job he should have been selected for two years ago, and this time the Democrats can achieve redemption and get this right.
Walz is a veterans' veteran, having served 24 years in the Army National Guard he achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major and milestone of being the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress.
However, that fact is only the surface of his qualifications which include: leading a bipartisan coalition and getting a major veteran suicide prevention bill passed (Clay Hunt SAV Act) through a Republican Congress and signed by President Barack Obama that cemented his bi-partisan negotiating chops at a time when none of us thought partisan politics could be put aside--even for veterans.
He negotiated effectively to elevate many other legislative priorities and policy issues during his tenure on the VA committee as well, and attracts hope from those of us in the veteran community through his affable and accessible persona, and workhorse reputation. Congressman Tim Walz has been a proven leader for Veterans, and understand the unique needs of our community, he is one of us, and frankly we need him.
Challenging him in his race to become the House VA leader is Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA). Mr. Takano despite a very positive attitude and genuine interest in fixing the problems facing our community, lacks the experience, record, and toughness we need at this time. . . .
Good to see the House Democrats chose a veteran to serve veterans.
Photo: Congressman Tim Walz, giving someone hell over veterans' issues.
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