If there is one subject Joe Markosek can consider himself an expert in, its transportation. Markosek has focused much of his attention on roads since first being elected to the House in 1982.
It came as no surprise when he was tapped to become chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
What has come as a surprise, and he would be the first to tell you so, is his ascension on Tuesday to become the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
The first word that came to Markosek’s mouth when talking to Rock The Capital about his
recent victory ”surprise” — even for a guy that knows how to maneuver through jams and find detours.
He declined to talk about that bloody as it gets, secretive, caucus meeting which left his predecessor, Dwight Evans, figuratively on the floor.
“Its time to heal the caucus and move on,” Markosek said.
Evans had been the Appropriations chairman for the last four years, and he apparently did not go away quietly. That is until he walked out of the meeting and told a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, “it is clear that the members made their decision. There is not much else to say.”
Evans declined RTC’s request for an interview. His press secretary Johanna Pro said, “Dwight wants to let Joe (Markosek), savior his victory.”
Its the first time in four decades that the ranking Democratic member on the Appropriations Committee will not come from Philadelphia. Markosek resides in Monroeville, near Pittsburgh.
Markosek comes in to a watered down position of power since Democrats lost the House to Republicans in the election.
His goal is to try to find workable solutions, “its the reason Pennsylvanians voted the way they did, they want accountability and transparency.”
Figuring out ways to make do with so far fewer tens of millions of dollars than Evans controlled, working with a Republican majority, will prove difficult; even for a guy that knows all the shortcuts.
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