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New leadership takes over Congressional Steel Caucus

Then-Congressional Steel Caucus members, from left, Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pa., Chairman Rep. Tim Murphy R-Pa., Vice Chairman Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., listen to Leo W. Gerard, center, International President of United Steelworkers, speak on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2015. The caucus now has new leadership,

The Congressional Steel Caucus, the bipartisan group that advocates for the steel industry in Washington D.C., has named new leaders in light of the Democratic Party taking control of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Penn., will serve as the new chairman. He represents the Pittsburgh area, where U.S. Steel is headquartered. 

"America produces the world's best steel, and southwestern Pennsylvania produces some of the world's best steelworkers," Lamb said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to lead this bipartisan group and work with my colleagues from both parties to help strengthen the steel industry to protect American jobs and American workers."

Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, was formerly the top Democrat in the caucus, having served as vice chairman during the recent Republican majority. Visclosky said he will remain active in the committee but will not lead it, because of his responsibilities on the Appropriations Committee.

"Given his new responsibilities as chairman of the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, covering the roughly $700 billion dollar budget for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Agency, he wanted to ensure that the organization and administration work of the Congressional Steel Caucus could be properly attended to by a member who was able to devote the appropriate time to that task," Visclosky spokesman Kevin Spicer said.

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Visclosky said he remains a steadfast supporter of the mission of the steel caucus, which, for instance, pushed for new tariffs and tougher trade laws over the last few years.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have been on the staff of Congressman Adam Benjamin Jr. during the formation of the Congressional Steel Caucus, and since that time to also to have served as vice chairman and chairman," Visclosky said. "The caucus has always been an open and nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting our steelworkers and the American steel industry."

American Iron and Steel Institute President and CEO Thomas Gibson said the committee's work was needed to support 2 million jobs, including thousands in Northwest Indiana.

"The strong bipartisan leadership of the caucus is critical to ensuring Congress supports policies that create jobs in steel and promote steel as the backbone of manufacturing," he said. "AISI also thanks Congressman Pete Visclosky for his long-time leadership of the steel caucus and steadfast support for the industry. We look forward to continued collaboration with the distinguished leadership of the Congressional Steel Caucus.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.