Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Thomas R. Carper of Delaware also chairs the clean air and nuclear safety subcommittee on Environment and Public Works.
The logjam on Finance could open the door for a junior tax writer to grab a gavel. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, who joined the panel in the last Congress, would bring long experience in the House as a former Ways and Means member to either the tax or Social Security subcommittee. His state is home to the headquarters of the Social Security Administration, which is based in Woodlawn.
Cardin chairs the water and wildlife subcommittee on Environment and Public Works and could have a choice between a Finance or a Foreign Relations subcommittee gavel.
Other potential candidates could include two newly appointed candidates, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a former appropriator, and Michael Bennet of Colorado, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.