By Oliver Ramsey
We know who the Delegation is, but we do not know what their committee assignments
are. And we will not know until late January or early February.
El Paso community leaders are probably hoping that at least one member is assigned to a
budget-writing committee, either the House Appropriations Committee or Senate Finance
Committee. Last session, only one member of the delegation was on a budget-writing
Truth be told, for this upcoming session, there is little to be gained, if anything there is
probably much to be lost, by ensuring that someone from El Paso is on a budget-writing
With a $20-25 billion shortfall, there will be no goodies to bring home. If anything, the
goodies you already have could be gone tomorrow. Sure, you could argue, “But we need
someone there to fight for us!” Five of the 6 members of the Delegation are Democrats.
The budget-writing committees will be overwhelmingly Republican. Democrats can
make all the impassioned speeches they want, but it will be Republicans who will have
the final say.
Yes, there is one Republican member of the Delegation, but he is going to vote with his
party on the cuts.
So why bother asking the Delegation to serve on these committees? Budget-writing
committees are a time-drain on members, and time is something that they have little of
in a legislative body that only meets 140 days every two years. That time wasted could
be spent more effectively pushing legislative proposals that actually have a chance at