November 5, 2020
Merrillville, IN – Below is the letter from Democratic Congressman-elect Frank J. Mrvan to Speaker Pelosi regarding his requests for Committee Assignments in the 117th Congress.
The first priority of Congressman-elect Mrvan is to serve on the House Appropriations Committee. The letter states, “When Congressman Visclosky announced his retirement, I decided to run for Congress in order to continue to be a trusted and dependable resource for all those in need. I want to be on the House Appropriations Committee so that I can continue that type of service and use my empathetic listening skills and desire to do what is best for those in need to help solve problems.”
The second priority of Congressman-elect Mrvan is to serve on the House Education and Labor Committee. The letter states that as a member of this Committee, Mrvan “would look forward to continuing to advocate for our union brothers and sisters, and promote Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage requirements, project labor agreements, and the fundamental right of workers to organize and collectively bargain.” This Committee will also allow him to continue to support programs that aim to protect children from sexual predators, such as the No More Secrets program, and also “promote communities with healthy, safe, and inspired teachers and students.”
The third priority of Congressman-elect Mrvan is to serve on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The letter notes that through his trustee office, he has “a very positive and collaborative relationship with veterans and veteran organizations in Northwest Indiana,” and that he would “be honored to broaden my ability to continue to support veterans through improving the federal programs under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.”
The final Committee selection process will not be determined until the official start of the 117th Congress.
Below is the text of the letter.
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
I write today to express my preferences for Committee assignments in the 117th Congress.
To continue the public servant example of Congressman Visclosky and his model of legislating in a timely, bipartisan, and problem-solving fashion, my first priority is to serve on the House Appropriations Committee.
In many senses, I would not have been elected as a Member of Congress without the years of mentorship and the endorsement of Congressman Visclosky prior to the primary election. I have seen firsthand through the diligence and institutional knowledge of Pete how this Committee is at the heart of improving government services and making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families in communities not just in Northwest Indiana, but across our nation and the world. As a public servant, this is the Committee that I am ready to dedicate my time, thoughts, and passions on because I want to be a part of the work that ultimately implements and conducts oversight of programs that will address the pandemic and improve economic and educational opportunities for all.
I believe the function of the House Appropriations Committee is to solve problems, and that is what I have been doing for individuals and families in need for the past 15 years. As North Township Trustee, I have spent my time helping people who are facing a financial crisis, struggling to obtain health or mental health services, or who need help finding a good-paying job. My experience has focused on working to identify federal, state, local, private and nonprofit resources that allow Northwest Indiana residents to get a good-paying job, take care of themselves and their family, and succeed in a career that allows them to have a good quality of life.
My trustee office has represented and advocated on behalf of thousands of people who came into my office struggling to pay their rent, keep the lights and heat on, and take care of basic family necessities and transportation needs. I know first-hand the struggles of vulnerable individuals in our region, including the elderly who have been in need of assistance paying for prescription drugs, children who have been victims of sexual exploitation, and veterans who have been in need of mental health services.
When Congressman Visclosky announced his retirement, I decided to run for Congress in order to continue to be a trusted and dependable resource for all those in need. I want to be on the House Appropriations Committee so that I can continue that type of service and use my empathetic listening skills and desire to do what is best for those in need to help solve problems. I will always keep in mind the countless individuals and families I have assisted throughout my career when making decisions about funding allocations and directions in order to allow federal agencies and personnel to serve the public to the best of their abilities.
Should a position on the House Appropriations Committee not be available in the 117th Congress, my second priority, given my long-standing involvement and support of organized labor and teachers, students, and public school officials, is to serve on the House Committee on Education and Labor.
I believe that the ability to grow our economy with more good-paying job opportunities starts with a strong foundation of organized labor. Throughout my career, I have always made every effort to stand with organized labor and support all workers. I have walked the line with the proud men and women of organized labor on countless occasions, including when the United Steelworkers were striking at BP and at U.S. Steel. My office also made itself available to be a resource and of assistance to any worker impacted by economic slowdowns and layoffs.
In addition to the endorsement of Congressman Visclosky, my electoral success was achieved in part due to the strong support of multiple labor organizations, including the endorsement prior to the primary election from the United Steelworkers, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and the American Federation of Teachers Indiana.
The unions involved in the steel and manufacturing industries of Northwest Indiana are the foundation of our regional economy, and a pillar of strength for our national economy and our national security. As a Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, I would look forward to continuing to advocate for our union brothers and sisters, and promote Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage requirements, project labor agreements, and the fundamental right of workers to organize and collectively bargain.
Further, I have always been involved with our public education system. I would note that one of my signature legislative achievements was collaborating with teachers, school districts, and Indiana legislators to establish the No More Secrets program. This program aims to protect children from sexual predators by facilitating conversations about body safety, Internet safety, and phone responsibility, and it currently educates and empowers students in every k-12 school in Indiana. As a Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, I would look for opportunities to continue to advocate for this type of program and promote communities with healthy, safe, and inspired teachers and students.
Additionally, I also would welcome the opportunity to serve on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs so that I can continue to be a trusted resource and advocate for our veterans.
Through my trustee office, I have had a very positive and collaborative relationship with veterans and veteran organizations in Northwest Indiana. We have had monthly discussions and have coordinated events such as the Victory for Veterans Memorial Ride, and I would be honored to broaden my ability to continue to support veterans through improving the federal programs under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
I also would add for context that my father, in addition to being a state legislator for 40 years and the longest serving member of the Indiana General Assembly, is a retired member of the U.S. Air Force. He has instilled in me the values of servant leadership, hard work, and collaboration, and I believe my first-hand knowledge of his experiences and the perspectives of the countless veterans I have assisted through the trustee office will be of great value to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
In conclusion, while my long-term desire is to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, should a position not be available there, I believe my years of experience being a trusted resource and advocate for members of organized labor, teachers, students, veterans, and individuals and families in times of need will allow me to continue my record of public service on the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
I thank you for your consideration and would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how my background and perspectives from the First Congressional District of Indiana can be of service to our Caucus in the 117th Congress.
Frank J. Mrvan
Indiana’s First Congressional District