In a rare appointment for a freshman Member of Congress, Congressman Denny Heck has been selected by his colleagues to serve on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is one of only four "exclusive" committees in the House--the other three being Appropriations, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. The House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over federal housing policy, Wall Street reform and consumer protection, and commercial insurance and banking issues. The Committee was Congressman Heck's top request for committee assignment.
Due to the expansive list of policy concerns that fall within the Committee's jurisdiction, Members who serve on one of the four exclusive committees are not permitted to serve on other House committees. As such, the Congressman will give up his seat on the House Budget Committee, which is a non-exclusive committee, to accept this high-profile appointment. Only six other members of the 49 member freshman Democratic class were named to an exclusive committee.
"I'm thrilled to be named to the House Financial Services Committee. No sustainable economic recovery can occur in this country without a strong start in the housing sector. The House Financial Services Committee has the opportunity to continue promoting the recent growth we've seen in the housing sector. I'm also looking forward to ensuring that the 2010 Wall Street reforms are implemented so that Washington families are protected from a repeat of the actions that led up to the 2008 financial crisis. With major employers, credit unions, financial institutions, and a burgeoning tech-start up industry, Washington has a tremendous and growing stake in the work done under jurisdiction of the Committee," Congressman Heck said.
Congressman Heck will be the only member of the House of Representatives from the Pacific Northwest to serve on the Committee.
The following are quotes from Washington state leaders expressing their support for Congressman Heck's appointment:
"Having a voice from the Pacific Northwest on the House Financial Services Committee is fantastic news for the thousands of Boeing workers in that region. The Committee has jurisdiction over important issues to Boeing and its employees, including the Export-Import Bank that is critical to keeping Boeing competitive with airplane manufacturers in other parts of the world. We're pleased that Congressman Heck will be working on issues of importance to Pacific Northwest families as a member of this Committee." - Boeing spokesman Tim Neale
"Congressman Heck knows that getting the Washington housing market growing again will mean more good, family-wage jobs for South Sound workers. His appointment to the House Financial Services Committee is great news for those working in the building and construction trades and for any South Sound family looking to buy an affordable home." - Mark Martinez, Pierce County Building and Construction Trades Council
"Weyerhaeuser congratulates Congressman Denny Heck on being named to the House Financial Services Committee. We look forward to working with him to address housing finance issues that come before the committee. With housing accounting for 15 percent of the U.S. GDP, getting housing finance policy right is critical to economic growth and job creation." - Dan Fulton, President & CEO, Weyerhaeuser Company
"Congressman Heck's appointment to the House Financial Services Committee gives our region an important voice on important topics. Among its responsibilities, that committee addresses issues of housing and urban development. They include the nation's affordable housing programs. Denny is well suited for this. He knows how these programs, through the Tacoma Housing Authority, serve Tacoma residents and help bring public and private development dollars into our neighborhoods. Even before taking office Denny visited New Salishan discussing how these programs can work well. Tacoma is fortunate to have such an interested and energetic voice on this important House committee." - Michael Mirra, Tacoma Housing Authority
"Congressman Heck shares our commitment to increasing housing access and affordability for Washington families. We're very excited that Washington will have a strong and reliable voice on federal affordable housing issues in the years to come." - Kim Herman, Washington State Housing Finance Commission
"Congressman Heck's appointment to the House Financial Services Committee is welcome news for credit union members throughout the Pacific Northwest. As a former credit union employee himself, Congressman Heck understands the vital role credit unions play in the financial security of thousands of Washington families. I know that Congressman Heck will be a strong voice for the needs of credit union members on the House Financial Services Committee." - Jeff Kennedy, CEO of Twinstar Credit Union