Neal wants top Democratic post on Ways and Means Committee

California representative also interested in ranking member position

richard neal
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2015

WASHINGTON (WWLP-AP) – Springfield Congressman Richard Neal is trying to move up into an important leadership position. The Associated Press reports that Neal told House Democrats that he is interested in the position of ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee. If he is selected, that would make Neal the top Democrat on the committee that deals with taxes and other forms of revenue, as well as social security, Medicare, and welfare benefits.

The current ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee is Michigan Democrat Sander Levin. The 85 year-old announced prior to a Democratic congressional leadership vote Wednesday that he will not seek re-election to the position.

Neal is not the only Democrat interested in the position. California Congressman Xavier Becerra- who is currently term-limited out of his position as conference chairman- has also told Democratic members of the House that he wants to be ranking member on Ways and Means.

Regardless of who is the choice of the Democratic caucus, the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee will be held by the Republicans, who maintained control of Congress following the 2016 elections. California Rep. Kevin Brady is the current chair of the committee.