Blue Dogs Announce Additional Co-Chair, Leadership Role Changes for the 117th Congress

Jun 15, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON—Today, the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition announced the addition of Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) to the Coalition’s leadership and other leadership changes for the 117th Congress. These changes adhere to the Coalition’s bylaws, which prohibit Members from serving in the same Coalition co-chair position for more than one Congress. A temporary slate was put into place at the start of the 117th Congress to accommodate delayed results from the 2020 election.
 
The Blue Dog Coalition has a total of 19 members, representing districts from Maine to Hawaii, who are dedicated to the organization’s longstanding policy focus of fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, and a pragmatic approach to governance.
 
The Blue Dog Coalition’s leadership for the 117th Congress will be the following:
  • Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) Co-Chair for Administration (Previously Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach)
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach
  • Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Co-Chair for Policy and Legislative Strategy (Remains in the same position)
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Co-Chair for Whip (Previously Co-Chair for Administration)
 
STATEMENTS FROM BLUE DOG LEADERSHIP FOR THE 117TH CONGRESS:
 
 
“The House Blue Dog Coalition has played a key role in delivering much-needed relief to suffering families, hospitals, small businesses, and localities during the uncertainty of this last year; I am humbled to be able to carry on as Co-Chair for Administration,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01). “Good government leads to good outcomes for the American people—six months into this Congress, we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases go down, more businesses reopen, and more jobs created. Although we have made significant progress, much more work needs to be done, starting with infrastructure. I look forward to leading the Coalition at this crucial time to deliver good-paying jobs, expand a 21st century infrastructure, and ensure our rural and tribal communities are not left behind in the process.”
 
“I am proud to help lead the Blue Dog Coalition, which serves as a voice for pragmatic governance and thoughtful leadership in Congress,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “We have made significant progress this year to get the pandemic under control and provide businesses with the support they need to reopen, but much work remains ahead of us. The American people deserve real results over rhetoric, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure these results are seen in communities in Central Virginia and across the country.”
 
“Most all Americans support fiscal responsibility, national security, and government that solves problems, and I’m proud to continue as a member of the Blue Dog Coalition which for over a quarter century now has been a guardian of these principles in Congress,” said Rep. Ed Case (HI-01). “Through our policy task forces and outreach throughout Congress and beyond, we remain hard at work delivering results on fiscal stability, jobs and economic growth, a strong national defense and a vital rural America.”
 
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to help lead this principled and pragmatic group of House Democrats,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07). “Our Members are laser-focused on delivering results to the American people. That means identifying solutions that can pass the House and Senate and make it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.”
 
 
BACKGROUND ON THE BLUE DOG LEADERSHIP OF THE 117TH CONGRESS:
 
  • Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Co-Chair for Administration: After serving as the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Policy during the 116th Congress and the Coalition’s Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach at the beginning of the 117th Congress, Rep. O’Halleran will now serve as the Coalition’s Co-Chair for Administration for the 117th Congress. Rep. O’Halleran currently serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Agriculture Committee. He was elected to Congress in 2016. Prior to his service in Congress, O’Halleran served three consecutive terms in the Arizona House of Representatives followed by a term in the Arizona State Senate. At the beginning of his career, O’Halleran joined the Chicago Police Department, where he was an officer and then a sergeant in a special operations unit. O’Halleran was later commissioned to be one of the youngest homicide investigators in the city’s history.
 
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach: Building on her leadership as Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Rural Opportunity during the 116th Congress, Rep. Spanberger will serve as the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Communications and Outreach for the 117th Congress. Rep. Spanberger also serves as Chair of the Conservation & Forestry Subcommittee for the House Agriculture Committee and Vice-Chair of the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, & the Environment Subcommittee for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She was elected to Congress in 2018. Prior to her service in Congress, Rep. Spanberger began her career in public service, first serving as a federal agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigating money laundering and narcotics cases, and then serving as a case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As a CIA officer, she worked at home and abroad to collect vital intelligence, keep our country safe, and work in furtherance of our national security priorities. In the private sector, Representative Spanberger worked with colleges and universities to help them diversify their student bodies and increase graduation rates.
 
  • Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Co-Chair for Policy and Legislative Strategy: Rep. Case will continue in his current position as the Blue Dog Coalition's Co-Chair for Policy and Legislative Strategy for the 117th Congress. Rep. Case serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Natural Resources and on the Executive Board of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Congressman Case previously represented Hawaii's Second Congressional District from 2002 to 2007, during which he was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. He also served as Hawai'i State Representative from 1994 to 2002 in various positions including Majority Leader, where he focused on fiscal and economic stability. Case, a business and property lawyer by profession, practiced with the Honolulu firms of Carlsmith Ball for twenty years and Bays Lung Rose & Voss for seven years, both of which he served as managing attorney. He also served for five years as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Outrigger Enterprises Group, one of Hawaii's oldest and largest hotel and resort companies with properties throughout Hawai'i and the Pacific-Asia-Indian Ocean region.
 
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Co-Chair for Whip: Rep. Murphy made history last Congress as the first woman of color to lead the Blue Dog Coalition in the organization’s history when she served as Co-Chair for Administration. She will remain a member of Coalition leadership and serve as Co-Chair for Whip for the 117th Congress. Rep. Murphy also serves in House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip. She is a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as vice chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations on the House Armed Services Committee. She was elected to Congress in 2016. Prior to her service in Congress, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor after serving as a national security specialist in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. She worked on a wide range of security issues from counterterrorism to foreign military relations to strategic planning for the department.
 
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