By Alex Roarty
PoliticsPA Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Democratic Congressional delegation Thursday recommended Patrick Murphy for a seat on the Appropriations Committee, giving the two-term southeast congressman a considerable boost in profile, a source familiar with the vote tells PoliticsPA.
The House Democratic Steering Committee will now determine whether to give Murphy or another state’s congressman a seat on the powerful committee. But because the Steering Committee is replacing the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha with its selection, a Pennsylvania representative would seem to have the inside track.
Murphy won the recommendation over U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, himself a two-term congressman who represents northeast Pennsylvania. The two men and U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper were vying for the position.
Spokesmen and women for Murphy and Carney were not immediately available for comment.
U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorksi appears to have cast the deciding vote in Murphy’s favor, which might surprise some political observers. Kanjorski and Carney represent adjacent congressional districts, meaning Carney’s newfound clout could have benefited the region Kanjorski represents. The two congressman, in fact, represent two of the same counties: Lackawanna and Luzerne.
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fatta is Pennsylvania’s only Democrat currently sitting on the Appropriations Committee.
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Kanjorski tells PoliticsPA that the vote was taken by a secret ballot, meaning the other congressmen and women in the room did not necessarily know who voted for whom. She declined to deny Kanjorski voted for Murphy, saying she did not know who the congressman supported.