Dec. 3, 2018: Two women—U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey, New York Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, Texas Republican, have been appointed as the most senior-level leaders of the powerful U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee next year, 2019, for the first time ever--an historic advancement for female leadership in Congress after a midterm Tuesday, Nov. 6 ,2018, election that saw record numbers of women elected to Congressional seats. The House Republican steering committee appointed Granger on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, as the Senior Republican on the committee, which is one of the most powerful committees in the House. She joins Lowey, who has been the committee’s top Democrat and is scheduled to be the committee’s Chairman in 2019 when Democrats take over control of the House. The Appropriations panel controls government spending and is one of Congress’s most powerful committees. Efforts to secure positions on the committee are competitive, as the posts give legislators broad influence over federal finances. Leading the committee is considered as a coveted appointment. Granger, 75, a veteran legislator and longtime appropriator now finishing her eleventh term in the U.S. House, defeated three male colleagues to take the position as the committee’s Republican leader.