WASHINGTON - North Country Congressman Bill Owens has been appointed to one of the U.S. House of Representatives' most influential committees.
In a press release issued Friday afternoon, Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, announced that he will serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over spending in every federal department. The appointment requires Owens to step down from the three other committees he has served on: Agriculture, Armed Services and Small Business.
The Appropriations Committee exercises authority over "spending for the Department of Defense and their activities at Fort Drum, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and their work on behalf of farmers in New York, Customs and Border Patrol and myriad other departments and agencies that do important work in New York state," according to Owens.
(Enterprise file photo — Chris Morris)
"I look forward to giving the North Country a voice in the Committee's important work," he said. "This provides an opportunity to support investment in federal programs that help businesses and families in the 21st District while advocating for important economic drivers like Fort Drum. At the same time, we must work towards responsible cuts to federal spending to reduce the debt and set the country back on track towards fiscal responsibility."
The committee "also plays a central role reducing the deficit by eliminating wasteful and duplicative spending and allocating federal investments that play a critical role in addressing the challenges and opportunities New York communities face," Owens said.
Owens said it was an honor to represent Fort Drum on the Armed Services Committee, and he will continue to work to represent the interests of farmers and small businesses on the Appropriations Committee.
Owens was sworn in to his third term last week. He now represents the new 21st Congressional District, which spans virtually all of the North Country, including all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties, and parts of Herkimer and Saratoga counties. He has offices in Plattsburgh and Watertown, and plans to open an office in Glens Falls soon.