WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Maine Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree on Monday was elected to serve as chair of a subcommittee in the House that oversees the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and more.
Pingree, who served seven years on the House Appropriations Committee, said in a release Monday that she is “honored to lead the House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee at this critical moment.”
“The last four years have done enormous damage to our environment and set back America’s efforts to mitigate the climate crisis. We have no time to waste,” Pingree continued. “As Chair, I will fight to undo the harmful policies enacted by the last Administration and provide the resources needed to preserve the long-term health of our environment.”
The subcommittee oversees discretionary spending for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and several agencies related to the arts and humanities.
The U.S Constitution specifies that “Congress—and in particular, the House of Representatives—is invested with the ‘power of the purse,’ the ability to tax and spend public money for the national government,” which falls to the Appropriations Committee. The House Appropriations Committee has jurisdiction over all discretionary spending but does not have jurisdiction over mandatory federal spending—like Social Security and Medicare.
The House Appropriations Committee — comprised of 30 Democrats and 23 Republicans and organized into 12 subcommittees in the 117th Congress — is responsible for investments in families and communities across America, providing funding to create jobs, grow our economy, keep our country safe and secure, and build for the future.
Pingree, along with her fellow Appropriations subcommittee chairs, are tasked with authoring 12 annual spending bills for consideration by the full committee.
“As a member of the Subcommittee for the past seven years, I have secured significant funding for Maine’s tribes, environmental preservation programs, our cultural economy, and our forests—and as Chair I will have the opportunity to put these priorities at the top of the Committee’s agenda,” Pingree said.
Pingree has been a member of both the House Appropriations Committee and the Interior and Environment Subcommittee since 2013. She serves as co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus and is a nationally recognized leader on climate change and environmental issues in Congress.
Pingree is also on the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran Affairs.