Peter Urban / ctnewsjunkie file photo
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Peter Urban / ctnewsjunkie file photo)

U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro is among those vying for the top job on the House Appropriations Committee, following U.S. Representative Nita Lowey’s announcement last week that she will retire from Congress next year after representing New York for the past three decades.

Announced in a statement about Lowey’s retirement, DeLauro praised her leadership on the Appropriations Committee last Thursday before announcing that she would seek to succeed Lowey as chairwoman.

“As chair, Nita has taken a great interest in making sure everyone’s priorities are incorporated. Committee members have counted on her to hear us out on the programs most important to us, and we know they are just as important to her,” she said. “She has made it a point to work across the aisle with our fellow appropriators … I look forward to working with her through the end of her term, and I will be running for Chair of the Appropriations Committee in the next Congress.”

DeLauro will face competition for the role from Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and possibly others. Kaptur told the Hill late last week that she would seek the position before making a formal announcement of her candidacy for the gavel on Tuesday. Other high-ranking Democrats on the committee who have not ruled out interest in the chair role include U.S. Representative David Price, D-N.C.

Should the Democrats retain the majority in the House after next year’s elections, DeLauro will be the third-ranking Democrat on the committee in 2021 following the retirements of Lowey and U.S. Representative José Serrano, D-N.Y., who announced he will not seek re-election due to a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

While selection for committee leadership positions in the Senate often relies on seniority, House rules dictate that committee chairpersons and members of standing committees are selected through a two-step procedure wherein the Democratic Caucus and the Republican Conference make recommendations and then the House, as a whole, approves or rejects the recommendation of the party caucuses.

DeLauro currently serves on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; chairs the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and is co-chair for steering on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.