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Chairwoman Mikulski Announces Appropriations Committee Staff Changes

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) announced today she has appointed a new Appropriations Committee leadership team. Charles Kieffer will serve as Staff Director and Gabrielle Batkin will serve as Deputy Staff Director. Together, they will work with both Democratic and Republican Senators and their staffs, continuing the Committee's tradition of bipartisanship.

Charles Kieffer has more than 34 years of experience in the appropriations process, including 12 years of service with the Senate Appropriations Committee, 16 years with the Office of Management and Budget, and six years with the Department of Health and Human Services. His previous experience on the Committee includes serving as Staff Director from 2007 to 2009 and as majority and minority Staff Director of the Homeland Security Subcommittee since it was founded in 2003.

Gabrielle Batkin has 17 years of service to the United States Senate. She has served on the Appropriations Committee staff since 2001, and she has been the Clerk of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee since 2007. She previously worked on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee, and for Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Frank Pallone, Jr.

"This is an excellent leadership team that's up to the very serious and challenging economic times we are facing," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "Chuck and Gabby are first class professionals dedicated to public service. They are problem solvers who will complement the great staff of the Committee. I will rely on their experience, judgment, and dedication to assist me in leading the Appropriations Committee staff, fulfilling my Constitutional responsibilities of the power of the purse, and meeting the day-to-day and long range needs of the nation and of Maryland."

Margaret Cummisky will serve as the Committee's General Counsel. She previously served as the Appropriations Committee's Deputy Staff Director, as the Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and for a total of 25 years for Senator Daniel K. Inouye.

After more than three decades of public service Charlie Houy will be retiring from the Senate Appropriations Committee. He has served on the Committee for more than 30 years following the dictum of his first supervisor, Senator Ted Stevens, that staff, like children, should be seen and not heard. Charlie Houy began his federal service in 1981 working for the Naval Sea Systems Command as a Presidential Management Intern. He was detailed to the Defense subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee in 1983 and worked as a majority professional staff member on the subcommittee for Chairmen Stevens, Stennis, and Inouye. Charlie was appointed Democratic clerk of the subcommittee in 1995 by Chairman Inouye and remained in that capacity through 2010. From 2009 to the present Charlie has served as the Staff Director of the Appropriations Committee for Chairman Inouye and Chairwoman Mikulski.

Chairwoman Mikulski expressed her deep gratitude to Charlie Houy.

"I thank Staff Director Charlie Houy for his generosity and help during the transition as I became Chairwoman," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "For 30 years he has served the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate and the American people with integrity and intelligence. Charlie has been the Senate's leading expert on the defense budget for most of that time, and became the 23rd Staff Director of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2009. His tireless contributions to our nation have been outstanding."

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