Commerce Chairmen Get Power Points

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Political power tracker Congress.org released its power rankings for members of Congress Tuesday. House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) ranked as the sixth most powerful House member with a score of 45.56 combining ratings on 15 criteria of effectiveness.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens ranked eighth in the Senate, but had a higher combined score at a 61.56.His co-chairman, Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) was 33 at a 39 rating.

The scores were based on staff reviews of criteria in three categories: Position,i.e. tenure, committee assignments; Influence, i.e. media exposure, money raised; and legislative activity, i.e. passing or shaping bills.

Not surprisingly, the top point getters on each side of the aisle were Majority Leader Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

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