Subcommittee oversees Justice Department and FBI
Congressman José E. Serrano, who has represented the South Bronx in Congress for nearly 30 years, was elected Chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee on Jan. 16. Newly emboldened Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, on which Serrano sits, picked the 75 year old to chair the seven-member Subcommittee, in the wake of high tension in Washington. The shutdown of the federal government, which began in December, has become the longest such impasse in US history, as President Trump continues to insist that Congress finance a border wall between Mexico and the US.
The Subcommittee oversees the federal departments of Justice, Commerce, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, the FBI, and the Census Bureau, among others.
Serrano will also continue serving in the Financial Services subcommittee and will join the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
“During my service in the Appropriations Committee, I have always made it a priority fighting to ensure our agencies, programs and public servants have the resources that they need to have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans,” said Serrano, adding that he will “make sure that the agencies under the subcommittee jurisdiction are focused on helping working families in the Bronx and around our nation as we face unprecedented challenges from the White House.”
The Congressman took the opportunity to take a shot at the president over the shutdown.
“Most of these agencies remain shut down because of President Trump’s temper tantrum to build an unnecessary wall that the vast majority of people don’t want, endangering public safety and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said Serrano. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that the employees at the vital agencies are able to get back to work, and to get paid for that work.”
Serrano is the most senior Hispanic Democrat in Congress, as well as its longest serving Puerto Rican.