Whitehouse might stay atop Budget, shun EPW gavel

By Emma Dumain | 05/24/2024 06:27 AM EDT

If Democrats win a trifecta in November, the Budget Committee chair might want to remain leader of the panel to write a reconciliation bill.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

(Right to left) Senate Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) speaks with ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republicans who don’t like the way Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has been running the Senate Budget Committee might be looking at another two years with the Rhode Island Democrat at the helm.

Whitehouse, who has held 19 committee hearings so far and counting that showcase the cascading effects of climate change on the global economy, said this week he might opt to stay as the top Democrat on Budget in the next Congress if President Joe Biden wins reelection, the Senate stays in Democratic hands and Democrats regain control of the House.

That could be a long shot at this point, with Biden behind in the polls against former President Donald Trump and Senate Democrats facing an unfavorable electoral map.


Still, in that scenario, Whitehouse said in an interview with E&E News, Democrats could be looking to pass another major social spending bill through the budget reconciliation process, picking up where the Inflation Reduction Act left off in terms of investments to, among other things, fight climate change.