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State

Boehner allows Rep.-elect Duckworth to bypass office lottery for new lawmakers

(MCT) — WASHINGTON — Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee from the Iraq war, said Thursday she was allowed by House Speaker John Boehner to bypass the traditional lottery for office space.

Boehner, a Republican acting on a request from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, said the Illinois Democrat could skip the lottery and he would let the architect of the Capitol pick the best available space that could be made handicap-accessible, Duckworth said.

The result is that Duckworth will take over a first-floor office that had been occupied by departing Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., in the Cannon House Office Building. Changes are being made to the restroom and other aspects of the office to make it handicap-accessible, Duckworth said.

Duckworth, a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard and resident of Hoffman Estates, also announced that she has won a seat on the House Armed Services Committee. She was gravely wounded in Iraq in 2004 when the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, causing the loss of her legs and severe wounds to an arm.

On Thursday, she paid her respects in the Capitol as the body of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, was lying in state in the Rotunda. Duckworth said she and Inouye were alumni of President William McKinley High School in Honolulu.

Duckworth said another incoming freshman from Illinois, retired Major Gen. William Enyart of Belleville, also got a spot on the Armed Services Committee. He had led the Illinois National Guard.

Other appointments for Illinois Democrats: Rep.-elect Brad Schneider will serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep.-elect Bill Foster will serve on the Financial Services Committee; and Rep.-Elect Cheri Bustos will be on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

On the Republican side, Rep.-elect Rodney Davis will serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Agriculture Committee, said Tim Butler, his district director.

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