After being sworn in to his ninth term in Congress, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) was selected by his Democratic colleagues to serve on both the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means and House Budget Committee. The 113th Congress will be the second term Rep. Pascrell will serve on the Budget Committee, and the fourth term in which Rep. Pascrell will serve on Ways and Means, where he will continue to serve on the Subcommittee on Health.
"I am honored my colleagues have selected me to serve on these two critical committees as our nation faces difficult fiscal challenges in the coming months," said Rep. Pascrell. "As a former mayor, I'm no stranger to making tough budget decisions. Resolving the current fiscal situation will require a balanced approach of both spending cuts and increase in revenue by asking the nation's wealthiest to pay their fair share. We must continue to rebuild our fragile economy and foster job creation. Serving on these two committees will put me right on the front lines of this debate, where I'll continue to fight on behalf of New Jersey's middle class. I look forward to standing up to the ideologues and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on behalf of a responsible budget that reflects the priorities and needs of the American people."
"As we continue to rebuild in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters to hit our region in generations, my priority is to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to begin to put their lives together. The House finally passed a disaster relief bill, but this is only the beginning. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I recognize we have a unique opportunity to use the tax code to help families, communities and businesses in New Jersey get back on track after this devastating storm."
The Committee of Ways and Means -- the oldest committee in the Congress -- is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits. All bills regarding taxation are required by the U.S. Constitution to originate in the House of Representatives, and House procedure requires all bills regarding taxation to go through Ways and Means.
Established through the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (the Budget Act), the House Budget Committee is responsible for developing the annual budget resolution -- what might be considered the annual "first draft" of the national budget that is later reviewed and amended by the U.S. Senate and the President. Chaired by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, the Budget Committee also provides oversight to government-funded programs and other discretionary spending. As the Committee on Ways and Means exercises sole jurisdiction over revenue-raising matters, granting its members representation on the Budget Committee provides them with an avenue for continuing involvement with decisions affecting their committee's jurisdiction.
"In the wake of historic healthcare reform, there was never a more important time to serve on the Subcommittee on Health. I will fight to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented and that quality, affordable health care is available to all Americans. Congress has a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the economy by lifting the incredible burden that health care costs have placed on American families."