Democratic Rep. Dina Titus played a key role in helping fellow Democrat Steven Horsford land a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most sought-after posts in Congress.
“I think it’s exciting for the state,” Titus said in a brief interview Thursday.
Both Titus and Horsford wanted a Nevadan to be on the panel, which oversees the nation’s tax policy, and so they coordinated their efforts to accomplish the goal.
As the longest serving member of the Nevada delegation, Titus was entitled to take the seat herself. But she decided against it in order to stay on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where she serves as chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee.
“I would have had to give up my chairmanship of the subcommittee, which I think is going to be fun,” Titus said, adding that Horsford consulted with her to make sure she didn’t want to move.
Titus’s help came through her membership of the powerful Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. The panel, whose members are typically close to Democratic leadership, determines the assignments for most committees. Titus nominated Horsford for Ways and Means to the steering panel, which named Horsford to the tax committee on Wednesday.
“I made the pitch for him in the committee and he has a good reputation, so it wasn’t a hard sell,” Titus said.
Horsford cited Titus’ efforts in a release Wednesday.
“I would like to thank Congresswoman Dina Titus for advocating for Nevada’s role to be added, and the members of the Steering and Policy Committee for supporting Nevada business owners, taxpayers, and working families to ensure representation on a committee so central to the business of the 116th Congress,” he said in a statement.
Horsford also got a leg up from having served a term in the House between 2013 and 2015, according to his office.
With broad jurisdiction over the tax code, trade and revenue-related aspects of the Social Security system, Medicare and social services programs, the panel is considered among the most powerful in Congress — and is the oldest.
“The decisions made by this committee have a profound impact on the health and welfare of Nevada families,” Horsford said. “And I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to strengthen the retirement security system, social safety net, and critical infrastructure so many Americans rely on."
Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are of particular interest to Horsford. He ran an ad during his campaign highlighting the role Social Security and Medicaid played in helping his grandmother who was paralyzed by a stroke and lived in nursing home for 27 years.
The last Nevadan to serve on the panel was Rep. Shelley Berkley, which held a seat on the committee in 2012.