Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly’s Rep. Brendan Boyle will hold a major new post in the new Congress

Boyle, 45, would be the party’s top voice on the House committee that sets the framework for federal spending and tax levels and has often been a platform for bigger leadership roles.

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle will become the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, a position that gives the Philadelphian a key perch on one of Congress’ most influential panels.

Boyle, 45, will be the party’s top voice on the House committee that sets the framework for federal spending and tax levels (though the exact details are hammered in other committees). He ran unopposed to lead the committee’s Democrats and was elected unanimously by his party colleagues on the panel Tuesday morning.

It’s a lofty position for a relatively young House member, and gives the Philadelphian a platform that has at times served as a stepping stone for even bigger leadership roles. According to Boyle’s office, he will be the youngest House member from either party to serve as the chair or ranking member of a legislative committee since Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chaired the budget committee and later became the GOP’s 2012 nominee for vice president, and then speaker of the House.

Former Philadelphia U.S. Rep. William Gray III also chaired the committee in the 1980s before later becoming the House’s third-ranking Democrat.

With Democrats in the minority, Boyle’s role will mostly center on arguing against GOP plans as Republicans take control of the chamber. But as the ranking member, Boyle would potentially be in line to become chairman if or when Democrats regain control of the House.

He said his first priority will be pushing back against any Republican attempts to use the need to increase the federal debt ceiling as leverage for cuts to Social Security or Medicare, as some GOP leaders have suggested, if the issue isn’t resolved before the end of the year.

“I absolutely refuse to entertain any of that,” Boyle said in an interview Tuesday. “I really do believe that the argument over raising the debt ceiling and protecting Social Security and Medicare is going to be the front and center argument over the course of 2023.”

Boyle also pointed to how Ryan and other budget committee chairs used the post to shape the wider debate over federal spending and priorities. He said he hopes to encourage a restoration of the 2021 child tax credit that drastically cut poverty but expired after one year, and to provide more economic opportunities to people who do not attend college.

Gray was also in his 40s when he became the top Democrat on the committee, Boyle noted.

“As someone who represents part of the area that Bill Gray used to represent, to be mentioned even in the same sentence as him is a true honor,” Boyle said.

He said he received encouragement to seek the position from both the incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) and the outgoing budget chairman, Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.), who is retiring.

“Congressman Brendan Boyle is a remarkable legislator who has fought hard for lower costs and better-paying jobs throughout his tenure in Congress,” said a statement from Jeffries provided by Boyle’s office. “I congratulate Brendan on his election as he leads the effort to defend our priorities on the House Budget Committee, including the protection of Social Security and Medicare from attacks by the Extreme MAGA Republicans.”

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