Dec. 8, 2006 -- Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) has been appointed chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee for the 110th Congress, making her the first-ever Hispanic woman to chair a full congressional committee.

Velazquez has served as the ranking member on the committee since 1998.

In a statement following her nomination, Velazquez stressed the need to reduce regulatory and tax burdens on small businesses, while addressing rising energy and health-care costs and revamping the Small Business Administration, among other initiatives.

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