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Panel Backs Waxman For Commerce Ranking Spot Panel Backs Waxman For Commerce Ranking Spot

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Panel Backs Waxman For Commerce Ranking Spot

Current Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is likely to retain his spot as the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 112th Congress when the GOP takes control of the House, according to a House aide.

Waxman was approved as the ranking member Wednesday by the House Democratic Steering Committee. The full Democratic caucus is expected to vote Thursday on whether to ratify the steering committee's vote on Waxman's spot and other committee ranking posts.

Waxman has served as chairman since 2009 when he successfully challenged the panel's longtime top Democrat, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, for the chairmanship.

In other committee news, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Tuesday that he has informed incoming Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., that he would like to have a leadership role on the committee. Walden wouldn't say whether he has formally asked for the chairmanship of the House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee, adding that he also has served on the Energy and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees and that he has "enjoyed them all." He said the decision on where he might serve is up to Upton.

As a former broadcaster, Walden said the Communications Subcommittee's "issue set is one I care a lot about."

Meanwhile, Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, has been elected to lead the House Science and Technology Committee. He currently serves as the panel's ranking member. In a statement, Hall said the committee will focus on energy security, space exploration, and improving science, technology, engineering and math education among other issues.

"Advancements in science and technology will create jobs, keep America at the forefront of innovation, and drive economic growth," Hall said. "Smart investments in basic research and development, coupled with proper business and tax incentives, will spur innovation and allow American businesses to commercialize and manufacture technologies here in the United States."

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