Tuesday December 04, 2012 | 01:40 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-District 2, is hoping to land the top Democratic spot on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee next year.

Michaud has been working to garner support from his House colleagues for his drive to be named the ranking minority member on the committee. Ranking members, although in the minority party, carry more weight on the committee and often help set the work agenda.

The ranking minority member is also often first in line to take over the powerful chairmanship of the committee if their party gains control of the House or Senate in the following election.

Michaud, who currently holds the position of ranking member on a veterans' affairs subcommittee on health, is making his pitch Tuesday to the Democratic Steering Committee that recommends committee assignments. The Steering Committee's recommendations must then go to the full party caucus for approval.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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