Posted: Nov. 17, 2006

U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, a Delaware Democrat elected to his second term last week, will have enhanced leadership roles when his party takes over the Senate majority in the 110th Congress next year.

Carper will be a member of the new Senate Democratic leadership team responsible for shaping Democratic messages and priorities after accepting a nomination from incoming-Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to be a deputy whip.

In addition, Carper will have a subcommittee chairmanship, assuming the gavel of the Clean Air, Nuclear Plant Security & Community Development Subcommittee of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. The appointment, which was announced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who will chair the full committee, will give Carper a leading role in shaping legislation to combat air pollution. 

“I’m proud to be joining our new leadership team as Democrats take over the majority in the Senate, and I will work hard to unite our caucus in promoting a common-sense, forward-looking agenda,” Carper said. 

“If Democrats are to be successful, we need to push forward on the themes we campaigned on – finding common ground on a path forward in Iraq, achieving energy independence, reducing health care costs and balancing the budget. If we do, I believe we’ll be able to find bipartisan support and achieve real results for the American people.”

In the current congressional session, Carper serves as a deputy whip and as the senior Democrat on the subcommittee with responsibility over clean-air issues. 

As chairman of the clean air panel, Carper is set to renew his fight for strong clean air legislation. For the past six years, new clean air legislation has been stymied by the Bush administration, which has supported a weaker clean air bill known as “Clear Skies.” Carper has been a critic of the administration’s approach, which he said doesn’t go “far enough, fast enough.” He is hopeful that a new Congress and a Democratic-led committee will be able to reach consensus on clean air legislation this year.  

The Democratic leadership also announced committee assignments for the new term. Carper gained a seat on the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications law, transportation policy, and various technology and climate-related issues. He retained his assignments and seniority on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs; Banking, Housing& Urban Affairs; Environment & Public Works; and the Special Committee on Aging.