With Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina resigning from the Senate, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota is next in line for the top Republican slot on the Commerce Committee.
Though Thune would be the next senior Republican, he would face a vote among GOP committee members and then a full conference vote.
“There is a process for these assignments that will play out and I look forward to discussing this development with my colleagues on the Commerce Committee," Thune said in a statement to the Alley.
Thune, a member of GOP leadership, was reelected last month as Republican Conference Chairman for the incoming Congress. He has also worked on some tech issues, including legislation with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon that would prevent states from imposing taxes on digital goods if no similar tax is collected on similar physical goods.