Worker health and wellness

Murray to become ranking member of Senate HELP Committee

Patty Murray

Patty Murray

Washington – Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has been tapped to serve as the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the new Congress.

Murray will take over for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who is retiring. Harkin previously served as committee chair; with Republicans gaining control of the Senate for the 114th Congress, Murray will be the committee’s ranking member in 2015.

“I will fight as hard as I can to make sure that that the voices, values, and priorities of students, workers and families, are heard loud and clear,” Murray said in a Dec. 12 press release. The senator pledged to work with committee Republicans on several priorities, including improving working conditions throughout the nation.

The most senior Democrat on the HELP Committee is Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who likely will serve as ranking member on the Appropriations Committee.

At press time, Republicans had not announced Senate committee leadership for the new Congress. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), currently the HELP Committee’s ranking member, is a likely candidate for chairman.

Committee leadership and membership will be ratified when the 114th Congress convenes in January.