RACE FOR THE HOUSE | VA-2 | OK-5 | NY-14 | MN-5 | MI-13

18 Freshman Dems Nabbed Subcommittee Chair Positions

The NRCC said they've so far heard from more than two dozen recruits, more than half of which are women.

Feb. 12, 2019, 10:46 a.m.

"House freshmen harvested a bumper crop of 18 subcommittee chairs as Democratic leaders face pressure to give opportunities to the newcomers who put them in the majority. Freshmen hold four of the five subcommittee chairmanships on the Small Business; Veterans’ Affairs; and Science, Space and Technology committees." The fifth went to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA 17).

"Many of the 40 freshmen who helped swing the House to Democratic control represent districts that used to be represented by Republicans, and therefore could be difficult to defend in 2020. Playing a role on legislation important to those districts can give the freshmen an accomplishment to run on." Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA 02) "has the biggest percentage of military veterans of any House constituency. She’s now running the Veterans Affairs’ Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee."

Space Subcommittee Chairwoman Kendra Horn (D-OK 05) is from a district with a"large aerospace presence, a space port, and Tinker Air Force Base. She’ll be defending a seat she won by a margin of 1.4 percentage points." (Bloomberg Government)

RECRUITMENT UPDATE. NRCC Political Director Justin Richards “said, as of early February, the organization had heard from more than two-dozen potential candidates in the country’s most competitive districts, more than half of them women.” (Columbia State)

The NRCC unveiled a 55-district target list last week, centered on the Democrats holding district that President Trump won in 2016. But female members have pushed Republican to increase the number of women in the caucus — it dropped from 23 to 13 after 2018.

IN THE MIDWEST. Meanwhile, the DCCC named Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI 05) as head of Heartland Engagement, a position current DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos held in the 2018 cycle. Kildee represents Flint. (release)

MORE ON OMAR. House Democratic leaders condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN 05) on Monday for Twitter comments she made that were widely panned as anti-Semitic.

"Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments," they wrote in a statement signed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jefferies and Vice Chair Katherine Clark. (release)

Omar later issued an an apology: "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. ... At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry." (Twitter)

Hoyer said leadership does "plan to strip ... Omar of her committee assignments or take other action against her for comments they said were offensive and invoked anti-Semitic tropes." But he "noted he had not talked to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who said Republicans will take action of their own this week." (Roll Call)

NEW BOOGEYMAN. "The Republican Party has a new trio of Democratic villains:" Omar and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14). "The House GOP midterm strategy largely centered on trying to tie every Democrat to now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi—and it failed spectacularly. So now GOP leaders and" the NRCC "are turning to the superstars of the House Democrats’ freshman class as their newest targets. It’s a move born, in part, out of desperation. House Democrats already have their ultimate nemesis in President Donald Trump, who's proven to be one of the best political and fundraising foils in U.S. history."

"The NRCC has sent out thousands of emails trying to tie vulnerable Democrats to Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar. And the committee's website makes it appear as if these backbench members are running the House. While the NRCC still regularly bashes Pelosi, GOP lawmakers and aides privately acknowledge that Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar are their main focus now. The GOP strategy risks a backlash—a party that has problems with women and minorities continues to focus its attacks on women of color—even as the freshman Democrats say they're not surprised by it." (Politico)

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