Climbing the ladder
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor has been named the top Republican, or ranking member, on the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight.
Bilirakis, who was just re-elected to his second term, is the only member from Florida on the Homeland Security Committee. As ranking member of the investigations committee, he'll help oversee and explore the Homeland Security Department's antiterrorism and disaster response programs.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, was joining President Obama today at the White House for the signing of one of her pet bills, the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which is aimed at the working poor.
The bill, which President Bush vetoed last year, will expand the number of kids eligible from 7 million to 11 million; in Florida, that means about 290,000 of the estimated 800,000 children without health insurance will now qualify, according to House leaders. About 323,000 Florida kids already qualify for SCHIP.