WASHINGTON--Freshman Rep. Robin Kelley (D-Ill.) sworn-in last week, was appointed to the Oversight and Government Reform and Science, Space, and Technology Committees--not panels with central responsibility for her main campaign issue, gun control.
Committee spots are made by party leaders. Kelly had to line-up behind other freshmen who took office in January. By the time she got to Congress last week, it was clear there was no space for her on the Judiciary Committee, the panel which does most of the heavy lifting on gun issues. The Government Reform panel will handle some aspects of the pending gun trafficking legislation.
Coming from a safe Democratic district, Democratic leaders did not see a need to assign Kelly to a higher profile committee which could bolster a re-election bid--or help in fund-raising.
Kelly's communications chief, Kayce Ataiyero said Kelly will continue to push her core issue, gun-control, even though she is not on the Judiciary panel.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) said in a statement that Kelly "has brought progressive values and a firm commitment to the middle class to the halls of Congress, and she will place those same principles and priorities front and center in her work to support science, invest in innovation, and conduct strong oversight on behalf of the American people," Leader Pelosi said. "These committee assignments reflect the faith of the Democratic Caucus in Congresswoman Kelly's abilities and leadership, and we look forward to working together to create jobs, grow our economy, and build a brighter future."