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Pete Visclosky

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, will not seek to become chairman of the House Appropriations Committee next year, following the retirement of the current chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

The longtime Region congressman said Thursday that he wants to continue focusing on managing the nation's defense spending as chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as working to secure federal funding for the South Shore Line expansion and other Northwest Indiana infrastructure improvements.

"Given the serious nature and necessity for continuity to address evolving threats to our national security, I have no intention of seeking the chairmanship of the full House Appropriations Committee," Visclosky said.

The Appropriations Committee oversees approximately $1.3 trillion in annual federal spending. Lowey, 82, is the first woman to lead the panel.

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"Chairwoman Lowey is a tremendous legislator and a constant, effective force for the people of our nation and the institution of Congress," Visclosky said.

"Her steadfast leadership of the House Appropriations Committee has not only provided untold benefits to communities throughout our nation, but also serves as a positive example of how to get things done in Congress."

The new committee leader officially will be selected by the political party that wins the most House seats in the 2020 elections.

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