Advance Notice: Briefs

Kildee lands on powerful Ways and Means Committee

By: - January 10, 2019 11:19 am

Dan Kildee | Susan J. Demas

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) has been selected to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

“We need to have a tax code that grows the middle class, fair trade deals that benefit workers and affordable health care for all Americans,” Kildee said in a statement. “My position on the Ways and Means Committee means Michiganders will have a voice at the table as a new Democratic majority begins our work for the people.”

Democrats took control of the U.S. House on Jan. 3. Kildee, who is in his fourth term, is also part of the Democratic majority’s leadership team, serving as chief deputy whip. He briefly ran for governor in the 2010 cycle and considered a 2018 bid, before deciding to concentrate on ascending to caucus leadership.

The Democrat is best known for pushing the federal government to provide aid in the wake of the Flint water crisis and fighting for the release of Amir Mirza Hekmati, a constituent and U.S. Marine veteran who was held as a political prisoner in Iran for almost five years.

U.S. House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) lauded Kildee and other new members:

“Our new members hail from states across the country and bring a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences to our new majority. Their input will strengthen our work in the coming years to improve Americans’ retirement security, lower health care costs, cut taxes for middle-class families and modernize our nation’s infrastructure.”

The House Ways and Means Committee has wide jurisdiction over important federal programs, including Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, enforcement of child support laws, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and foster care and adoption programs. The committee is poised to be on the forefront of addressing key initiatives and challenging President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans on several fronts, including health care, trade deals and taxes.  

Michigan members of Congress who, in recent years, have served on the committee include former U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) — who was defeated in his re-election bid last fall by now-U.S. Rep. Elissa Sloktin (D-Holly) — and recently retired U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Royal Oak), who served briefly as committee chair from 2010 to 2011 and then ranking member until 2017.

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

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