Congratulations! Congresswoman Lauren Underwood is on the powerful HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE!

As a former House Appropriations Committee staffer with Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick?




Here comes a boring inside the beltway THREAD.
There are four Committees in Congress considered "A" Committees:

Ways and Means (Taxes and Medicare);

Energy and Commerce (health care, telecomm, others - over 60% of the bills in the House go through this Committee);

Rules (determine which bills go to the floor); and
Appropriations (they write the checks).

Getting on one of these committees is a whole campaign. I won't bore you with the process - it's bare knuckle politics, I've run three successful ones for E&C and Appropriations, but rest assured the Speaker picks who sits on these.
I've had bosses who sat on all but Rules.

Appropriations, HANDS DOWN, run the place.

It's often said there are three parties in Congress - the Democrats, Republicans and Appropriators.

What do they do?
The budget is about $3.3T per year. You can pretty much wipe all of that except for about $1T because of mandated spending - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, etc.

Congress decides how to spend the discretionary funds - about $1.1 - $1.3 T.
That's the Appropriations Committee.

War have been STOPPED because the Committee refused to spend money on them.

In the 243 history of our nation? I think fewer than TEN Black women have served on this Committee.
The first? Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.

My boss, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, who was appointed in 1998?

She was only the third.

And the first - and so far only Black woman to serve on the Defense Subcommittee.
Rep. Underwood will determine HOW the money is spent. She can, through report language, make changes to policy.

Guess what?

There's a possibility earmarks might come back for the 117th Congress.
All the other Committees, for all intents and purposes, AUTHORIZE funding.

The Appropriations Committee is the only one that WRITES the check.

Here's an example.
Say you want to use the car Friday night.

You might have the AUTHORITY to use it from your Dad, aunt, whoever.

That car, however, is gonna stay parked until MOMMA APPROPRIATES YOU THE KEYS.
FIN/She got this position because SHE WORKS HARD. She knows how to play the LONG GAME. Being in a tough district? It's easier to win if you can show you bring home the projects and the jobs.

Appropriations lets you do just that.
FINFIN/Kilpatrick was asked to serve on Defense by the late, great Rep. Jack Murtha. Kilpatrick did a HUGE favor for Murtha; won't go into the details.

"Kilpatrick, I am going to put you on Defense."

"John, I don't know a DAMN thing about the military."
"You know those programs you love to prevent diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure in Black people? Where do you think most of that money comes from? DEFENSE."

Every year, one subcommittee - defense - gets at least 60% - $600B - to spend.
Kilpatrick was able to get that money to go for, among other things, health care for Black people in Detroit, DC, LA. To ensure Black attorneys and contractors built defense-related arms, munitions; supplied food and travel.

Made it so more Black people became Generals.
She supported Gen. Austin and other Black generals.

Boosted the CBC's participation to nominate Black men and women for military academies.

Saved failing manufacturing plants in Michigan, Ohio and Alabama.

I haven't worked on defense since 2010. Program managers still call me.
You can follow @JamesMWilliam18.
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