New Mexico – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman has been re-appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee for the remainder of the 111th Congress, which ends in December.
Bingaman served on the committee from 1983-2000, and then again in 2001-2002. He initially had to step off the panel when he joined the Senate Finance Committee; both the Armed Services and Finance committees are considered so powerful a senator typically can only serve on one at a time.
Bingaman was asked to re-join the panel to maintain the ratio of Democrats to Republicans after newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown sought appointment to the committee.
The Armed Services Committee is responsible for writing the Senate's version of the Defense Authorization Act - legislation that gives the go-ahead to spend funds at New Mexico's two laboratories and its military installations.
"I'm very glad to be back on the Armed Services Committee for the remainder of the year. It will give me a good opportunity to ensure our labs and military installations continue to get all the support they need," Bingaman said.
Bingaman's appointment required the vote of the Democratic caucus first, then the entire Senate. The Senate's approval came last night.
This is Bingaman's fifth committee assignment for this Congress. He also chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and serves on the Finance; Joint Economic; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committees.