MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is gunning for one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. House of Representatives.
She’s running to become the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, when the current committee Chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, retires next year.
The committee is responsible for the money that runs the government and covers a range of federal agencies and programs that affect the nation and Florida, including Everglades restoration; ports, roads and bridges; climate change; beach renourishment; military bases and the National Aeronautics and Space administration.
Wasserman Schultz spoke to CBS4’s Jim DeFede Friday for the taping of Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede, which airs Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and explained why she wants the job.
“It’s time to bring the committee and the appropriations process into the 21st century. Anyone you ask would say that the appropriations process is broken. We are living from continuing resolution to continuing resolution. We almost never finish our work on time, I can’t recall the last time we finished our work on time. We deal with government shutdowns,” she told DeFede. “I want to be able to serve as a bridge through generational diversity and also as someone who has a proven ability to reach across the aisle and make sure we can work to get things done which is essential because this is the only bill we have to pass every year and as we’ve seen, we crash and burn when the government shuts down.”
Wasserman Schultz, in her eighth term representing southern and western Broward and northeast Miami-Dade County, is no stranger to being an appropriator. She’s been one for 11 of her 15 years in Congress and currently serves as the Chairwoman of the subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
Wasserman Schultz will face stiff competition, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), both of whom are senior members of the Appropriations Committee.