California Legislators Hold Key Leadership and Committee Positions in Congress

By Jenny Nieto 
Jan. 23, 2019

With the opening of the 116th Congress, California’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives continues to rank amongst the most influential, with numerous members serving in positions of leadership and on committees with jurisdiction over issues and policies critical to the continued advancement of our state’s and the nation’s life sciences sector. Notably, California’s 46 Democratic members comprise 20% of all House Democrats – the current majority party.

CLSA and our Washington DC-based federal government relations team are eager to continue working closely with these distinguished bipartisan leaders to promote life sciences research, investment, innovation and access.

Democratic Leadership

  • Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was elected to once again serve as Speaker of the House, a role she held between 2007-2011. She is the only woman to have served as Speaker, and is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history.
  • Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica) will serve as a co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
  • Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Eric Swalwell (D-East Bay) will serve as 2 of 3 co-chairs of the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee.
  • Katie Hill (D-Simi Valley) will serve as a freshman class representative to House Democratic Leadership.

Republican Leadership

  • Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), was soundly elected to serve as House Minority Leader. the first California Republican to hold the post.

House Energy & Commerce Committee:  The California congressional delegation remains the largest state delegation represented with seven (7) seats on the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over important issues like biomedical research at NIH and regulatory pathways for new drugs, devices and biosimilars at FDA.  Second-term Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Carson) They join returning committee members Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley), Anna G. Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley), Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton), Scott Peters (D-San Diego), and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Palm Desert).  Further, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley) was elected as the Chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Ways & Means Committee:  Second-term Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Monterey) will serve on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee in the 116th Congress. They join returning committee members Reps. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), Devin Nunes (R-Clovis), Linda Sanchez (D-Cerritos), and Mike Thompson (D-Napa), making California the largest state delegation represented on the committee with six (6) seats. Further, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Clovis) was elected as the Ranking Member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health.

House Appropriations Committee:  With the addition of third-term Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona) to the House Appropriations Committee, California will maintain an important presence on the House Appropriations Committee, with jurisdiction over federal government spending. Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), Ken Calvert (R-Corona), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles) will remain on the Committee for the 116thCongress.

House Judiciary Committee: California Reps. Lou Correa (D-Orange) and Tom McClintock (R-Roseville/El Dorado Hills) will serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over intellectual property and patent rights policies critical to the life sciences sector. The addition of Reps. Correa and McClintock makes California the largest state delegation represented on the House Judiciary Committee. Additional returning committee members include Reps. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Judy Chu (D-Los Angeles), Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). and Eric Swalwell (D-East Bay).

House Oversight & Reform Committee: The main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Oversight & Reform Committee’s membership roster will include at least 6 California Democrats in the 116th Congress: Reps. Jackie Speier (D-South San Francisco), and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek), second-term Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and Ro Khanna (D-Sunnyvale), and first-term Reps. Katie Hill (D-Simi Valley) and Harley Rouda (D-Huntington Beach).

Questions? Please contact Jenny Nieto, Vice President of Federal Government Relations and Alliance Development in our Washington, DC Office ( or 202-743-7559).