WASHINGTON, DC — The House Democratic Caucus today approved Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) nomination of Rules Committee Ranking Member James P. McGovern (D-MA) to serve as chairman of the committee for the 116th Congress. In reaction, McGovern released the following statement:
“I want to thank Leader Pelosi for her continued leadership and for the opportunity to lead this committee. I’m grateful to have the support of my colleagues across the Democratic Caucus as well. Massachusetts has a long and proud history with the House Rules Committee. Massachusetts Congressman Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill Jr. served on this committee before becoming Speaker of the House. Speaker O’Neill appointed my friend and mentor, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Moakley, to the committee, where he later became chairman. They taught me that you don’t have to agree on everything to agree on something, and that good people can disagree and still work together to get things done. Their example will guide me as I lead the Rules Committee at such an important time for our state and nation. This Republican Congress has been the most closed Congress in history, leading to more brinksmanship and legislative breakdown. The American people demanded a new direction. That means making the House Rules Committee the place where big ideas are debated once again instead of being where democracy goes to die. I look forward to instituting a more accommodating process that helps restore the integrity of this institution as the Democratic Majority advances an agenda that works for all Americans.”
McGovern was appointed to the House Rules Committee in 2001 and was named ranking member last year. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996 after working for Congressman Moakley from 1982 until 1996, serving as a staff assistant, press secretary, and legislative director.