From Biden investigations to the Farm Bill, committee assignments set the agenda for Colorado’s congress members

Congress Marriage Rights
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
The Capitol is seen amid holiday lights Wednesday evening as the House of Representatives works to approve the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill already passed in the Senate to codify both interracial and same-gender marriage, in Washington, Dec. 7, 2022.

As the new Congress starts, Colorado lawmakers will sit on some key congressional committees important to the state.

Committees are where much of the legislative and oversight work gets done and are a perch from which lawmakers can push their bills through or highlight issues.

Where the Republicans in the House were assigned

Colorado’s longest-serving Republican congressman Doug Lamborn, whose district includes five military installations, will continue serving on the House Armed Services and move up to chair the Armed Services' Strategic Forces subcommittee, which oversees the country’s nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense and national security space programs. He said it’s “a tremendous responsibility, and I look forward to the challenge.”

Even though the 5th Congressional District has become much smaller geographically since redistricting, losing many of the mountain counties, Lamborn will continue to sit on the Natural Resources committee.

Joining him there will be Western Slope Rep. Lauren Boebert. The far-right congresswoman, who was one of the last holdouts against Speaker Kevin McCarthy, also got her request to move to the House Oversight and Accountability committee approved. 

Boebert had been pushing for this assignment for months. This is one of the committees that is expected to investigate the Biden administration and now includes many far-right lawmakers, such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green, Paul Gosar and Scott Perry.

“As an advocate for transparency and reform, I will pursue the truth, conduct effective oversight, and fight to root out waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government,” said Boebert in a statement.

Another committee that is poised to investigate the Biden administration is the House Judiciary Committee, where GOP Rep. Ken Buck will continue to serve (he’s also holding on to his seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.) 

Buck has focused much of his energy in recent years on Big Tech antitrust work, as part of a bipartisan group pushing back on big tech’s monopoly in the digital marketplace. He was a ranking member on the antitrust subcommittee in the last Congress. However, now that Republicans are in the majority, leadership’s decision to give Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie the subcommittee gavel is an early indication that antitrust work might not be what the GOP wants to focus on.

Where the Democrats in the House were assigned

On the Democratic side, Rep. Diana DeGette will stay on the powerful Energy and Commerce committee. She’ll be a ranking member for the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security. In the last Congress, she chaired the subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. In her new role, DeGette said she hopes to try to work with Republicans on legislation to combat climate change.

“Every single one of us is at risk because of our changing climate. The only way we are going to solve this crisis is by taking steps now to reduce our emissions and break America’s addiction to oil by expediting the innovation and deployment of new clean-energy technologies that can provide people with the reliable and affordable energy they need,” DeGette said in a statement. 

Freshman Rep. Brittany Pettersen will also serve on a high-ranking committee. She nabbed a spot on Financial Services. “I will use this critical position to find long-term solutions for our housing crisis, as well as bring business investments to the rural and smaller communities that often go overlooked,” she said in a statement.

Fellow freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo, who won a close race for the state’s newest congressional seat, will serve on two committees, including one that is particularly important to the portions of eastern plains farmland that fall into her district: the Agriculture Committee. Her advocacy could help rural Colorado as the committee is expected to negotiate the Farm Bill this year.

She will also serve on the Science, Space and Technology Committee where she said she “will continue to support Colorado as a national leader in innovation. Coloradans are at the cutting edge of the newest technologies and are driving forward American competitiveness.”

Rep. Jason Crow will continue to serve on the Armed Services Committee, but not Small Business, this Congress. He served on the House Intelligence Committee last Congress and is expected to be tapped for that again this Congress, but those assignments have yet to be released.

Like many other returning Democrats, Rep. Joe Neguse’s assignments aren’t changing in the new Congress. Neguse will continue on the House Natural Resources Committee, as well as the Judiciary Committee. He will also serve on the important House Rules Committee. 

And the senators

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Michael Bennet adds a new committee to his roster. He will join the important Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which focuses on the management of the chamber and federal election laws.

He will also continue to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Finance Committee and the Intelligence Committee.

Sen. John Hickenlooper will continue to sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.