The Journal Gazette

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has been appointed to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The House Republican Conference on Wednesday chose Banks, R-3rd, to fill a vacancy on the committee, his office announced.

“While we have made tremendous progress this Congress to grow the economy through tax cuts and regulatory rollback, there is still a critical need to fill the skills gap between training and available jobs,” Banks said in a statement. “I look forward to serving as a voice for the many schools and colleges in northeast Indiana and ensuring our students have the tools, resources and access to quality education they need to succeed.”

As a committee member, Banks will serve on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee and the Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee.

It’s not the first time Banks has been on an education panel – he served on the state-level Education Committee when he was in the Indiana Senate. The panel is led by state Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, and its hearings are known for being painstakingly long.

Banks even tweeted about it, saying, “Really hoping these hearings don’t last nearly as long as Senator Kruse-led @INSenateGOP Education committee hearings.”

Banks will continue to be a member of the House Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees but will give up his seat on the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Also on the Education and the Workforce Committee are Indiana Reps. Luke Messer, R-6th, and Todd Rokita, R-4th, each of whom did not seek re-election this year and instead ran for the GOP nomination for a Senate seat, losing in the May 8 primary election to former state lawmaker Mike Braun.