Sunday 9 November 2008

House Committee on Energy and Commerce

One of the most interesting battles on 'The Hill' is for the chairmanship of the House of Representative's Committee on Energy and Commerce. The current chairman, John Dingell, is being challenged by Henry Waxman, currently Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

John Dingell is a House veteran, being the longest serving current Member of the House and second longest serving Member in our US history. He is now 82 years old - and served in World War II. He has represented Michigan (the boundaries of his district have changed many times) since 1955. He retook the chairmanship of Energy & Commerce in 2007, when the Democrats gained a majority in the House, having previously served as Chairman from 1981-1995.

Roll Call reports that "House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) on Friday sought to put more weight behind his bid to hang on to his gavel, releasing the names of 26 lawmakers making up the “first round” of his whip team." Representative Dingell's House website can be found at http://www.house.gov/dingell/

Henry Waxman is regarded as one of the most influential liberal members of the House. He represents California's 30th district and has been a congressman since 1975. He previously served as a subcommittee chair of Energy & Commerce. A Time magazine article about him in 2006 was titled "The Scariest Guy in Washington". - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1562974,00.html. His website is http://www.house.gov/waxman/
This battle of the Titans is attracting much interest on the Hill. The committee is one of the most important in the House. Its website is http://energycommerce.house.gov/. It has a very wide remit and has been in continuing existence (albeit with name changes) for 213 years.