U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, who serves the Coastside, was named a senior whip last week by House Democratic leadership. The whip team meets regularly to develop legislation and amendments on behalf of the Democratic Party.
It's the whip's job to build strong support within the caucus for the party's agenda, especially on key votes.
"Being part of the whip team will allow me to play a leading role in the upcoming debates on issues important to the people I represent," Speier said in a prepared release.
Speier will continue serving as a regional whip, a position she was elected to at the beginning of the 112th Congress. She represents Region 2 which includes districts 1 through 22 in Northern California and districts in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and American Samoa
Speier calls for crackdown
On Thursday, Speier called for a crackdown on Wall Street speculators during a Congressional Populist Caucus press conference on rising gas prices.
Gas prices have been rising over the last two and a half years, reaching their national peak about three weeks ago. In a prepared release, the congresswoman says the increases have been a drain on Americans already struggling with high unemployment and a slow economic recovery.
"My constituents are paying upwards of $50 to $80 every time they fill up their tank," Speier said. "Supply is up, demand is down, yet gas prices continue to rise, a clear sign of speculation. We need to provide meaningful relief today."
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gave the Commodity Futures Trade Commission additional authority to crack down on oil speculation. Last week, the CFTC filed a civil suit against a number of speculators for committing fraud in the oil futures market in 2008.
Speier wants to provide the CFTC with additional resources so it can continue to prosecute bad actors. Recently, Speier wrote a letter, signed by 54 of her colleagues, urging the Department of Justice and the CFTC to fully investigate speculation activities and set specific limits on speculation in the energy market.
"It is time to end the speculation free-for-all on Wall Street and start a real effort to help Americans at the pump," Speier said in the release.
- from staff reports