The new year brings with it a new committee assignment for First District Rep. Tim Walz.
The Mankato Democrat was appointed on Friday to the House Armed Services Committee. It's a post the congressman has actively been seeking.
"I'm honored to be selected by leadership to this influential committee and look forward to this new challenge and responsibility," Walz said in a statement.
In order to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, Walz had to give up his seat on the House Transportation Committee. That means losing the seniority he accrued while on the committee, which he has served on since 2007 after winning election to Congress. He will have to start from scratch building up seniority on the House Armed Services Committee.
The House Transportation Committee has become less powerful in recent years. In the past, members of Congress could request earmark funds for transportation projects in their districts. But since earmarks have been eliminated, committee members have had far less control over where those dollars go.
Walz, who is the highest ranking enlisted solider ever to serve in Congress, has been building a reputation on Capitol Hill as an advocate for veterans. His appointment to the House Armed Service Committee comes after a failed bid to become the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Democratic leaders backed Florida Rep. Corrine Brown for the post. She was next in line for the seat held by retiring Maine Rep. Mike Michaud based on seniority.
Walz continues to serve on the Veterans Affairs committee along with the House Committee on Agriculture.