Horsford named to House financial services panel

WASHINGTON — Rep. Steven Horsford was named Tuesday to the House committee that handles housing, banking and insurance legislation.

The freshman Democrat from Nevada was assigned by party leaders to the House Financial Services Committee, part of a shuffle after veteran Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., left the committee — and Congress — in January to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Horsford said he applied for the post that forms bills relating to Nevada’s economic recovery — housing and foreclosures, business lending and insurance reform. He will be one of 28 Democrats on the panel alongside 33 Republicans.

“This will be an opportunity for me to push on some of the hardest issues affecting Nevada,” said Horsford, who worked on similar issues as a member of the Nevada Legislature.

Because Financial Services is classified as a top committee, Horsford was required to drop his other committee assignments unless granted a waiver by Democratic leaders.

He confirmed he will drop off the Homeland Security Committee, from where he had lobbied for anti-terrorism grant funding for Las Vegas and where he had served as a go-between for McCarran International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration.

Horsford said he is negotiating a waiver that would allow him to keep one of his other committees, either the Natural Resources Committee or the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

While the Financial Services Committee undertakes sometimes complex issues, serving on it does come with some benefits. A study by the Sunlight Foundation showed it ranked No. 2 among House committees for the amount of money its members can fundraise, an estimated $300,000 more than nonmembers. It has been dubbed “the cash committee” by the New York Times because Wall Street interests seek to influence its work through campaign contributions.

Contact Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.