Senator Jack Reed, who serves on the Appropriations Committee, is in line to become Rhode Island's first chairman of a Senate appropriations subcommitee since John Pastore. He's expected to head up the Interior, Environment, and related Agencies Subcommittee, with budget-writing power over the Environmental Protection Agency, national parks, and National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
Reed, according to his office, is likely to be the only senator to chair three subcommittees. With the new duties, and his posts on two of the higher profile committees, appropriations and armed services, Reed says he will leave the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee.
Rhode Island's junior senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, is in line to take his post on the HELP committee. Whitehouse served on the panel, for a time, during the pivotal health care debate of 2009.