The Masters of the House

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Donkey pulling house

Pulling the House to the left [Augusta R. Toppins]

After assembling a reading list for the new Democratic majority, we’re talking to House members themselves.

Massachusetts Represenative Barney Frank, who will soon chair the Financial Services Committee, will be on. As will Congressman Tom Lantos of California, who will head the International Relations Committee. No definitive word back from the offices of Charles Rangel, John Conyers, or Henry Waxman, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

More soon…

Update, 11/15/06 2:40pm

Henry Waxman is unavailable, as is John Conyers, whose staff did tell me today that the congressman is a huge fan of public radio. Maybe next time.

But Issac Newton “Ike” Skelton IV of Missouri has signed on. Skelton, who is expected to chair the Armed Services Committee, told George Will that his agenda boiled down to three things: “Oversight, oversight, oversight!”

Update, 11/15/06 6:23pm

Late additions! Charles Rangel of New York, soon to be the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, says he’s love to be on. And we’ll end the show with Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire’s incoming Congresswoman, to hear about the opposite end of the experience spectrum. She had her first day of orientation yesterday; our other guests have had a combined 115 years.

Barney Frank

U.S. Representative, D-MA

Tom Lantos

U.S. Representative, D-CA

Charles Rangel

U.S. Representative, D-NY

Ike Skelton

U.S. Representative, D-MO

Carol Shea-Porter

Incoming U.S. Representative, D-NH

Extra Credit Reading

Richard B. Schmitt and Richard Simon, Democrats Are Set to Subpoena, LA Times, November 10, 2006: “Rep. Ike Skelton knows what he will do in one of his first acts as chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Democratic-led House: resurrect the subcommittee on oversight and investigations … Skelton (D-Mo.) intends to use it as a forum to probe Pentagon spending and the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war.”

Stirling Newberry, The Center of Attention, TPM Cafe, November 12, 2006: “We are now seeing from Time, Newsweek and other outlets a recycling of that same theory – namely that the Democrats, because of the ‘conservative’ tilt of the new freshman class are going to have to be ‘moderates’. This prediction is just as off base. The American people voted for change, not for slight tweaking.”

Keith Kreitman, Democrats May Urge Contact With U.S. Adversaries, The Washington Post, November 10, 2006: “The incoming chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House International Relations Committee — Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Rep. Tom Lantos of California, respectively — have long argued that the administration’s approach to dealing with adversaries has hamstrung diplomacy.”

Kelly Pakula, Lantos Welcomes Resignation, The San Mateo County Times, November 9, 2006: “‘I don’t think self-imposed isolation is a useful policy. Even the most powerful nation needs friends and allies and supporters globally.'”

Charles P. Pierce, To Be Frank, Boston Globe, October 2, 2005: “[Frank says] ‘I know the rules of the House as much as anybody. I am a wonk about how to get things done, more than about what to do.'”

Engram What Americans Think about the Democratic Plan for Iraq, Back Talk, November 15 2006: “Sadly, John Murtha and John Kerry and the rest of the Democrats seem more likely to confirm their worst fears by confirming al Qaeda’s theory of America.”

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