Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) have named the
members of their subcommittees, including the Communications &
Internet Subcommittee that has the most direct oversight of communications
issues and the FCC.
With National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon
Smith now able to directly lobby his former senate colleagues (as of
January), he will be able to talk family as well as broadcasting with cousin
Tom Udall (D-Ore.) who is among the committee members.
The subcommittee will again be chaired by John Kerry (D-Mass.).
Democratic members are Daniel Inouye (Hawaii),
Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Bill
Nelson (Fla.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Frank
Lautenberg (N.J.), Mark Pryor (Ark.),
Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tom
Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mark Begich (D-Ark.).
Boxer is the only addition, with Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) having
retired at the end of the last Congress.
Republicans on the subcommittee are ranking member John
Ensign (Nev.), Olympia Snowe (Me.), Jim DeMint (S.C.),
John Thune (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Roy
Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark), Patrick Toomey
(R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Kelly Ayotte. Both
Rockefeller are ex officio members of the subcommittee, and all the
subcommittees, by virtue of their leadership positions in the full committee.
New to the committee are Blunt, Boozman, Toomey, Rubio and Ayotte.
The Republican membership includes two of the 10 most
conservative Senators according to National Journal's just-released
ratings--DeMint and Wicker--while none of the Dems made the Journal's most
liberal list. The Jounral said Friday that its poll showed the most politically
polarized Congress in the three decades it has been rating the legislators.
The Republicans also add some media star power in
Marco Rubio, the Tea Party-backed candidate who is already being talked about
as possible vice presidential or presidential candidate in 2012.