Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., long one of the prime movers in Congress on Federal IT modernization issues, said today he plans to run to become the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Reform Committee next year when the 118th Congress convenes.

That position will become vacant next January due to the primary election loss yesterday of committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., whose congressional district was redrawn. She lost the primary race against long-time congressman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Connolly, who now chairs the Oversight Committee’s Government Operations Subcommittee, said in statement today, “For more than fourteen years, I have made this committee my top priority and focused on the issues that define it: postal reform; defending our proud Federal employees; rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse; modernizing the Federal government; and holding the Trump administration accountable.”

The congressman is very well known in Federal IT policy and legislative circles for his leadership on a host of key issues, including:

  • Creating and sustaining the Oversight and Reform committee’s FITARA Scorecards;
  • Advocating on Federal workforce matters including larger pay raises and more consistent telework rules;
  • Championing the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) and leading efforts for its $1 billion funding infusion last year; and
  • Legislating for reforms in key areas including the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

“The American people must see the Committee on Oversight and Reform as a force for making government work, enforcing accountability to Congress, and most importantly, protecting our fragile democracy and strengthening the institutions that define American democratic resilience,” Rep. Connolly said today.

“That was the legacy of Elijah Cummings, and that was the high standard our tenacious Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney set when she took over our Committee. I especially thank Carolyn for her heroic leadership on the September 11th Health Fund, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Postal Service Reform,” he said.

“Our Caucus must continue to repair the damage left by the Trump administration, while also protecting the progress made by President Biden and our Democratic majorities,” Rep. Connolly said. “We need a tested leader who will not be timid in the face of Republican insurrectionists. One who has a deep understanding of the issues facing our Committee and our country. A collaborator who can be a bridge to our talented and diverse caucus. I believe I can be that leader, and look forward to earning the support of my colleagues.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.