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Sen. Whitehouse to Join Finance Committee, Leave HELP Committee

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will join the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Jan. 9.

The appointment of Whitehouse to the powerful Finance Committee resulted from a shift in the Senate’s political makeup in the wake of last month’s special election in Alabama, in which Democrat Doug Jones was selected to replace Republican Luther Strange. The Senate currently consists of 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and one independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Whitehouse will leave the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, according to a press release from Whitehouse’s office. Sen. Jones, who was sworn in as Alabama’s junior senator Jan. 3, was named as Whitehouse’s replacement on the HELP Committee on Jan. 9.

Whitehouse is the sponsor of the Automatic IRA Act of 2017 (S. 1861), a measure that would amend the tax code to expand retirement saving by enabling employees not covered by retirement plans to save for retirement through automatic IRAs. He introduced the bill on Sept. 26, 2017; it is before the Finance Committee, which has not taken action on it yet.