Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) has been elected ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, making him the top Democrat on the committee that shares oversight of communications.
He is succeeding Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who is retiring at the end of the current congressional session.
Pallone had the seniority, but ranking Communications Subcommittee member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) had also been in the running. Eshoo had been endorsed by House minority leader and fellow Californian Nancy Pelosi. Both Eshoo and Pallone were said to have been confident coming into Wednesday's vote. Palone had seniority, but Eshoo had been endorsed by the Steering and Policy Committee (Pelosi is chair) 30 to 19.
The chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee is Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
Pallone will be starting his 14th term in January. He has been mostly focused on environmental and healthcare issues, rather than communications, while Eshoo has been a prominent voice in network neutrality, retrans and media consolidation issues, not to mention championing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM).
“ACA congratulates U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ.) on winning his election as Ranking Member on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the panel that oversees the telecommunications industry and the Federal Communications Commission," said American Cable Association President Matt Polka.
“Rep. Pallone’s victory comes as Congress prepares to update communications laws and regulations to keep pace with dramatic changes in technology and consumer behavior. ACA looks forward to working with Rep. Pallone and his colleagues in a bipartisan manner on a number of key fronts, including reform of the broken retransmission consent rules and measures to promote further broadband deployment.”