Massachusetts Adds Clout In the U.S. House [OPINION]
Tip O'Neill isn't the Speaker of the House, and Sam isn't pouring him a beer at Cheers, but the Massachusetts House delegation has returned to power again.
The 2018 midterm election returned the Democrats to power in the House of Representatives. Massachusetts has an all-Democrat delegation in both chambers of congress. The last Republicans from Massachusetts to serve in the House were tossed out in 1996, and Senator Scott Brown's brief term ended six years ago.
During his weekly appearance on my radio show, Congressman William Keating explained that Massachusetts will see a significant increase in the clout of the delegation now that the Democrats have a majority in the House.
The Ways and Means Committee in the House is now going to be chaired by Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield. The former mayor of Springfield has served in the House since 1988. As chairman, he will be in charge of all the money. "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House" declares our Constitution, and those bills must come through the House Ways and Means committee. Taxes, tariffs and trade bills are just some of the massive responsibilities of the committee.
Rep. Neal is among the most powerful men in America, and therefore the world, and he is a Congressman from Massachusetts.
Congressman Keating of Bourne is set to become the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. The economy of Massachusetts is a powerhouse of international trade. The workers and the employers of the state sell billions of dollars in goods and services annually to the people of the world.
One in five jobs in Massachusetts are reliant on international trade. Products like cranberries, seafood, lasers, medical devices and financial services are sold to more than 200 countries around the globe. Having Rep. Keating as the chairman of the subcommittee that handles trade is crucial for Massachusetts. Regular listeners of my weekly radio segment with the congressman know he has been a tremendous advocate for Massachusetts workers and companies involved in international trade. His new chairmanship will add more muscle to the economy of Massachusetts.
Neal, Keating and their staffs will make a powerful team on trade and tariffs in the House for the people of Massachusetts. They know the Bay State employers and employees that feed, finance and heal the world and they will be watching out for them on Capitol Hill from their seats as chairman in the House.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.