Fattah battles to be appropriations chairman

    Philadelphia Democrat hopes to control one of the most powerful committees in Washington.

    Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah has his sights set on an important leadership role in the next Congress. Fattah will have to battle another veteran Democrat to get the prize.

    After an unsuccessful run for mayor of Philadelphia three years ago, Fattah re-focused his career on Washington, and he’s now gunning for the leadership of the powerful appropriations committee. The current chairman is retiring, and to get the seat, Fattah will have to win a vote among all the House Democrats, cast by secret ballot.
    Fattah has spent years building relationships and raising money for other Democrats, and is making a trip to the deep south this week.

    “I’m going to be skeet shooting with a congressman down in Mississippi, and talking to him about appropriation issues and how important my candidacy is.”

    Fattah’s rival is Norman Dicks of Washington. He has more seniority, but Fattah hopes his own focus on domestic issues will trump Dick’s penchant for defense spending. The vote won’t happen until after the election, and the winner won’t get the chairmanship unless Democrats retain control of the House.

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