Senate Democrats Expand Committee Edge

Posted January 13, 2009 at 5:36pm

The Senate Democratic Conference, flush with at least 58 Members following the 2008 elections, has increased its representation on Senate committees, replacing at least one Republican on nearly every panel with Democrats.

On the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, the Democrats will outnumber Republicans 12 to nine, from 11 to 10. On Appropriations, the Democrats have increased their representation to 17 from 15, bumping the GOP down to 13 from 14. The Republicans lost at least eight seats in November, depending on the outcome of the delayed Minnesota race, and currently control a minority of 41 seats.

The Intelligence Committee remains unchanged, per federal law, with Democrats maintaining their one-seat advantage, eight to seven. The Joint Economic Committee is also remaining static, at six Democrats and four Republicans.

Following are new and old numbers for all major Senate committees:

Armed Services: 15 Democrats and 11 Republicans, from 13 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs: 12 Democrats and nine Republicans, from 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Commerce, Science and Transportation: 14 Democrats and 11 Republicans, from 12 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

Energy and Natural Resources: 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, from 12 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

Environment and Public Works: 11 Democrats and eight Republicans, from 10 Democrats and nine Republicans.

Finance: 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, from 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Foreign Relations: 11 Democrats and eight Republicans, from 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans. (Foreign Relations was increased to 21 Members in the 110th Congress, and will resume its usual number in the 111th.)

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, from 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 10 Democrats and seven Republicans, from nine Democrats and eight Republicans.

Judiciary: 11 Democrats and eight Republicans, from 10 Democrats and nine Republicans.

Aging: 12 Democrats and nine Republicans, from 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Budget: 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, from 12 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

Indian Affairs: nine Democrats and six Republicans, from eight Democrats and seven Republicans.

Rules and Administration: 11 Democrats and eight Republicans, from 10 Democrats and nine Republicans.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship: 11 Democrats and eight Republicans, from 10 Democrats and nine Republicans.

Veterans’ Affairs: nine Democrats and six Republicans, from eight Democrats and seven Republicans.