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Underwood to Take Over Prominent Funding Role Following Cuellar’s Indictment

Underwood to immediately replace Cuellar (Credits: The Hill)

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) is poised to assume the top Democratic spot on the House subcommittee responsible for allocating funds to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), replacing Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in the wake of his indictment on bribery charges. This development was confirmed by aides to The Hill on Friday, following an initial report by Bloomberg Government.

Underwood, previously appointed to the subcommittee in 2021, will immediately take on the ranking member role, working alongside the GOP-led subcommittee. This transition comes shortly after House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-N.Y.) office announced that Cuellar would be resigning due to the indictment.

Henry Cuellar (Credits: Yahoo News Singapore)

Cuellar and his wife allegedly accepted nearly $600,000 in bribes and laundered the funds. While Cuellar has yet to enter a plea, Jeffries’ office emphasized that he is entitled to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence throughout the legal process. Following House rules, Cuellar will take a leave of absence as a ranking member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee while the matter is ongoing.

Jeffries’ office praised Cuellar’s dedication to public service, stating, “Henry Cuellar has devoted his career to public service and is a valued Member of the House Democratic Caucus.” However, they also acknowledged the need for Cuellar to step down from his leadership position while the investigation continues.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (Credits: Forbes)

Underwood’s appointment marks a huge shift in leadership on the subcommittee, which plays a crucial role in shaping the Department of Homeland Security’s funding and policies. As the new ranking member, Underwood will work closely with her Republican counterparts to oversee the allocation of resources for critical national security initiatives.

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