As expected, Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), has been elected Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee by the Senate Republican Conference.
The full Senate is expected to make that and other committee appoitments official Thursday.
Stevens, the longest-serving Republican on the committee, succeeds John McCain (the GOP limits the terms of its committee chairmen).
Stevens, who had chaired Appropriations but was term-limited out himself, was one of the sponsors of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a sweeping and deregulatory reform of the 1934 Act. He will now preside over a planned review and potentially sweeping rewrite of the '96 Act.