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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 13, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 02
Pramila Jayapal rockets into congressional leadership roles
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Pramila Jayapal rockets into congressional leadership roles

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Newly elected Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced on January 11 that she has been brought into the Democratic leadership team as a senior whip.

In that capacity, she will work with Steny Hoyer, the #2 man in the House Democratic hierarchy, to coordinate legislative strategy and mobilize her fellow Democrats for votes.

'I'm pleased to welcome Rep. Jayapal to Congress and to my whip team,' Hoyer said.

'She's hit the ground running since her arrival, and she's already hard at work representing the people of Washington's 7th District, drawing on her experience as a state legislator and an advocate for social justice. I look forward to working with her to ensure that House Democrats provide a strong response to Republican policies that would harm working families and threaten equal justice under our laws.'

Jayapal was also elected vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), where she will also serve as liaison to the CPC for women's issues.

'As a leader in the progressive caucus, Jayapal will fight for progressive policy solutions like a $15 per hour national minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform, debt-free college, criminal justice reform, protecting women's reproductive rights, and gun violence reform,' her office said in a statement.

'It's an honor and a privilege to serve in these leadership positions in the 115th Congress,' Jayapal said.

'With the nominations of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, and Andy Puzder to powerful cabinet posts, the Trump administration continues to threaten to roll back the decades of progress we've made in this country. It's never been clearer that we need to stand together and fight for working families who are struggling to make ends meet, protect our democratic values, and fiercely defend our civil liberties and civil rights.'

On January 10, the House of Representatives announced that Jayapal would serve on the House Judiciary Committee, replacing Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene, who moved to the Ways and Means Committee.

'I got my first-choice committee,' Jayapal wrote on her Facebook page.

'I get to stand for immigrant rights, human rights, civil rights, criminal justice reform, voting rights, women's rights, intellectual property, and civil liberties.'

Jayapal represents Washington's 7th Congressional District, which takes in most of Seattle, all of Vashon Island, Edmonds, Shoreline, Kenmore, and parts of Burien and Normandy Park.

She was elected to replace retiring congressman and progressive icon Jim McDermott. Jayapal was previously a state senator representing the 37th Legislative District, and she was the founder and first executive director of the immigrant rights group OneAmerica.

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