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Panel Recommends Waxman Over Dingell for Key Gavel

By Paul Kane

In a tight vote, the House Democratic steering committee has recommended placing Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) into the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, ejecting current chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.).

On a 25-22 vote, Waxman defeated Dingell, according to a lawmaker in the room who requested anonymity to discuss the closed-door deliberations. The full House Democratic caucus now votes on the chairmanship battle tomorrow.

The Energy panel is regarded as the one of the most powerful in the House, with vast sway over health care, energy issues and telecommunications policy, among other industries.

Much of President-elect Barack Obama's agenda will have to go through that panel, turning the Waxman-Dingell race into an ideological and regional battle.

Dingell, of Dearborn, is a close ally of the auto industry. His wife, Debbie, is an executive with General Motors, which has been pleading for billions of dollars worth of federal aid as it faces a cash crunch threatening it with bankruptcy.

He has often opposed many of the reforms more liberal Democrats have sought to impose on the auto makers.

Waxman, of Los Angeles, hails from the liberal wing of the party and has long supported imposing fuel efficiency standards and other reforms on Detroit's Big Three.

By Ben Pershing  |  November 19, 2008; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  Agenda , Dem. Leaders , House  
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Comments

I favor some help for the auto industry and I think that Waxman is bit too far to the left. That said, Dingell is too close to those who are most affected by his committee. Time for him to move to another committe that doesn't further taint him with the appearance of conflict of interest.

Posted by: mhhaggard | November 19, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. Dingell has been mollycoddling automakers for way too long. Detroit needs to take its medicine whether it wants to or not, and hopefully Waxman will see to that.

Posted by: ram_lopez | November 19, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Dingell has been the lapdog of the auto industry for eons, blocking every possible advance in CAFE standards and other auto reforms.

Posted by: ursadog | November 19, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Waxman would be a huge improvement.

Not only would it remove the auto industry's biggest protector, it would install someone who is passionate about doing something about health care.

Plus it would put an end to a semi-corrupt fiefdom that has gone on for way too long.

It would be a wonderful change and the best possible thing that could happen for Obama's chances of actually moving serious legislation through the House.

Posted by: Meridian1 | November 19, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Great! Maybe NOW we can get some electric cars!

Posted by: dotellen | November 19, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

ok i have to admit it i love waxman.he is all i want in a man, sexy,liberal,goodlooking,smart and wise!! he will do a great job for our country and the state of california!! go for it henry!

Posted by: willemkraal | November 19, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I wish the candidate would discuss global poverty more. According to The Borgen Project:
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget

Posted by: maryna1 | November 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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