March 9, 2012

Dear Colleague,

The retirement announcement last Friday by our very able colleague Rep. Norm Dicks, as Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee, came as a total surprise to us all. Thus, it still is hard to fully accommodate, especially knowing Norm's public life has extended for 44 years. Many of us have never served in Congress without him. I admire him and his phenomenal wife, Suzie, greatly. Norm's acumen, vigor, and affable nature have allowed many complicated bills to move forward under regular order, as he made the process look effortless. Yet we all know how difficult it can be.

Under the precedents of our House and regular order traditions of the Appropriations Committee, please allow me to respectfully inform you of my interest in seeking the position of Ranking Member, or Chair of the Committee at such time as Congressman Dicks vacates his seat. It is my intention to present my qualifications at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, I remain dedicated to achieving a Democratic working majority so that the Appropriations Committee can conduct its vital work with dispatch and effectiveness.

Thank you very much and I look forward to seeking your advice and support as we move forward.

        Collegially yours,