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Breaking: Casey to Chair Joint Economic Committee

Senator Bob Casey is about to step into the Congressional spotlight.

It was announced this afternoon that the Senator will chair the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), which is charged with overseeing economic conditions and economic policy.  The Committee is also bicameral, including of ten members from each the Senate and the House of Representatives.

With split party control of Congress, it’s a challenging time to step into such a role. As Chairman, Casey will have to work with both Democrats and Republicans to formulate and adjust economic policy.

One of Casey’s Republican colleagues will be Senator Pat Toomey, who announced his membership on the JEC earlier today.

Needless to say, it’s a high-profile position and Casey will have the chance to prove his mettle. If he succeeds, he’ll earn credit for dual success on bipartisanship and the economy. If he doesn’t, expect to hear about it on television next November.

Here’s the full release:

Casey to Chair Joint Economic Committee

He Will Focus Chairmanship on Jobs, Economy and Workers

Joint Economic Committee Chairmanship to increase Pennsylvania’s voice on economic issues

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was today named Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC).  As Chairman of this committee consisting of members of the Senate and House, Senator Casey will focus additional attention on jobs, the economy and working families.

“The top priorities of Congress should be putting Americans back to work, improving competitiveness to spur economic growth and helping working families hit hard by the recession,” said Senator Casey.  “As Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, I intend to focus on policies and strategies to create jobs, incentivize the creation of jobs and prepare workers for the jobs of the future.  I also look forward to working with the House Republican Vice Chairman and the other members of the committee to help create jobs and grow the economy.”

Senator Casey continued: “This new position will also allow me to continue to work for the people of Pennsylvania on job creation and to have a larger role on economic policy.  High on my agenda will be issues like promoting American manufacturing, workforce development, preparing children for the jobs of the future, export promotion, targeting unfair trade practices from countries like China and boosting working families.

“An important component of my work as chairman will be working with business leaders in Pennsylvania and around the country to explore new strategies to help workers and the economy to prosper.”

The Joint Economic Committee, established under the Employment Act of 1946, was created by Congress to review economic conditions and to analyze the effectiveness of economic policy.  The JEC is a bicameral Congressional Committee composed of ten members from each the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The JEC has the authority to hold hearings, research economic issues, release reports and advise the Congress on economic policy.

Senator Casey has been a member of the JEC since entering the Senate in 2007.  He also serves as the Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is a member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Special Committee on Aging.

With this appointment, Senator Casey becomes the first senator elected in 2006 to chair a committee.

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