Senate Dems Assign Committee Seats

Senate Democratic leaders have meted out committee assignments for the new Congress, adding to Armed Services Mark Pryor (Ark.) and newcomers Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and James Webb (Va.). For the Appropriations Committee, they added Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), and Jack Reed (R.I.), with Harry Reid (Nev.) bowing out to become Senate Majority Leader. For Veterans Affairs, added newcomers Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jon Tester (Mont.), and Webb, moving Ken Salazar (Colo.) to the Finance Committee. For Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, added newcomers McCaskill and Tester and dropped Lautenberg. For Foreign Relations, added Robert Menendez (N.J.) and newcomers Ben Cardin (Md.), Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), and Webb. For Select Committee on Intelligence, added newcomer Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.).