The current DCCC chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), announced Van Hollen's selection Wednesday morning at a meeting of top House Democrats, according to aides.
In a statement provided to The Washington Post, Lujan called Van Hollen "a leader in our caucus for years and supporters across the country know and respect his work. Few members have the combination of political and policy expertise that Chris brings to the table and I can’t think of anyone better to lead our fundraising operation this cycle."
Arrangements for Van Hollen to take the post have been in the works for several weeks, according to aides familiar with the talks.
The Maryland Democrat will be responsible for helping Democratic candidates raise the tens of millions of dollars needed to counter the National Republican Congressional Committee and outside super PACs who have seen their influence over congressional elections grow in recent years. Despite losing seats in 2014, the DCCC topped the NRCC in the money race.
Van Hollen contributed to the group's haul by raising about $1.5 million for the DCCC and party candidates, according to senior Democrats. That would make him among the caucus's top fundraisers.
He is a close confidant of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who in a statement called him "a bold and thoughtful leader for our caucus. He is one of our party's most innovative and relentless champions for working families, and as DCCC Finance Chair, we know Congressman Van Hollen will be an energetic and strong advocate for House Democrats as we lay the foundation for victory in 2016."
The 56-year old is serving his seventh term from his Bethesda-area district. As ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, he's emerged in recent years as a leading voice on budgetary and economic issues for House Democrats, who are adjusting to life in diminished ranks this year.
Most recently he unveiled a new economic "action plan" that would shave $2,000 a year off the tax bills of couples earning less than $200,000. Other provisions would nearly triple the tax credit for child care and reward people who save at least $500 a year. The plan has no hope of advancing in the GOP-controlled Congress and is seen mostly as an attempt by congressional Democrats to shape a new legislative agenda ahead of the 2016 elections.
Van Hollen also worked recently with the Obama administration and other lawmakers to secure the release of Alan Gross, who had been held prisoner by the Cuban government after traveling there in 2009 to distribute communications equipment to Jewish groups in Cuba under a contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gross had volunteered for Van Hollen's first congressional campaign.