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Sen. Maria Cantwell to chair Senate Indian Affairs Committee






Photo © Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) is slated to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee during the 113th Congress, Democrats announced on Wednesday.

Cantwell first joined the committee in 2001 not long after she won election to the Senate in 2000. She defeated noted tribal sovereignty foe Slade Gorton and quickly became an advocate for tribes in her state and for others across the nation.

Cantwell will be the first woman to lead the committee. She is one of seven women Democratic chairs during the next session of Congress, when a record 16 women will serve.

“I am excited to work with the members of our expanded majority. Our caucus is more diverse than ever, with a record sixteen female Democratic senators serving in the next Congress,” said Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), the Senate majority leader.

Cantwell succeeds Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HawaiI), who was the first Native Hawaiian to chair the committee. He is retiring at the end of the 112th Congress.

The committee will have eight Democratic members in the 113th Congress, including two newcomers. They are: Sen. Tim Johnson (South Dakota), Sen. Jon Tester (Montana), Sen. Tom Udall (New Mexico), Sen. Al Franken (Minnesota) and newcomers Sen. Mark Begich (Alaska), incoming Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Get the Story:
Press Release: Committee Assignments For 113th Congress Approved By Democratic Steering Committee (Senate Democrats 12/12)