Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., announced today that she will serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“I’m deeply humbled by my colleagues’ faith in me to serve on this important committee,” said Kelly in a statement. “As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will be better able to serve and advance the needs of Illinois families, and I look forward to addressing important issues related to healthcare, the environment, gun safety, and technology on day one.”

In the previous Congress, Kelly was the ranking member on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s (now known as Oversight and Reform) Subcommittee on Information Technology. While typically an appointment to Energy and Commerce would mean Kelly would drop off Oversight and Reform, MeriTalk learned today that Kelly has requested a waiver to remain on both committees due to her work on IT issues.

However, a Democratic congressional staffer told MeriTalk that even if Kelly receives the waiver, it is unlikely that she will chair the Oversight IT subcommittee. The staffer also said there were some rumors circulating late last year that the Government Operations and IT Subcommittees might be merged and led by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. The staffer noted that the merger is still up in the air because Oversight and Reform members have not yet been assigned by the Steering and Policy Committee.

Regardless of whether she receives the waiver, the staffer said Kelly will continue to work on tech issues. “Plan to still see the same ‘Fantastic Four’ (Reps. Kelly; Will Hurd, R-Texas; Mark Meadows, N.C.; and Connolly) on government IT legislation,” the staffer said.

“I’m pleased to welcome Rep. Kelly to the Energy and Commerce Committee where she will play a crucial role in ensuring all Americans have access to affordable and quality health care, safe drinking water, high-speed internet, and a cleaner environment,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.