Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Wednesday that he will be joining the Senate Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill.
The panel is responsible for deciding how the federal government spends money.
“I am thrilled to join the Senate Appropriations Committee and follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Senator Mark Hatfield,” said Merkley. “There is no clearer statement of values and priorities than how our government allocates its resources. I look forward to bringing common-sense, Oregon values to the national conversation in this new role.”
Oregon has not had a member of Congress on the Appropriations Committee in either the House or Senate since Sen. Mark Hatfield, who was chairman of the committee, retired in 1996.
Merkley will be only the second Oregon senator ever to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. His appointment will take effect when the 113th Congress begins its session in January.