WASHINGTON - Democrats on Wednesday added five members to the new House Financial Services Committee, where the party holds 33 of 70 seats.
Freshmen Reps. William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Steve Israel of New York, Ken Lucas of Kentucky, and Mike Ross of Arkansas, and second-term Rep. Ronnie Shows of Mississippi joined the panel.
They filled the five minority seats added when the former Banking Committee was expanded and renamed after absorbing the financial services jurisdiction of the old Commerce Committee. Republicans have the same four-seat majority they had on the former Banking Committee, despite Democratic gains in the November elections.
The full list of Democrats on the panel remains to be finalized. All of the Democrats from the Banking Committee who are still in Congress are expected to return.
But three vacancies must be filled. The death last year of Rep. Bruce Vento of Minnesota; the departure of Rep. Bob Weygand of Rhode Island, who gave up his House seat to run unsuccessfully for the Senate; and the defeat of Rep. Michael Forbes in the New York primary created the empty slots.
Some members of the old Commerce Committee are expected to join the panel, but they have not been named.
The remaining assignments are to be announced this week or next, said a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt.
Republicans announced their committee roster last month.