Pelosi Backs California Pal Eshoo in Energy Committee Tussle

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during a press conference October 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Pelosi answered questions on the problems surrounding the website for the Affordable Care Act during her remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
National Journal
Ben Geman
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Ben Geman
Feb. 27, 2014, 9:09 a.m.

House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi is back­ing her Cali­for­nia col­league and friend, Rep. Anna Eshoo, in her fight to be­come the top Demo­crat on the power­ful House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee.

The loom­ing re­tire­ment of Rep. Henry Wax­man has opened a race for the pan­el’s top Demo­crat­ic spot, and Pelosi’s sup­port — made pub­lic Thursday — will provide a polit­ic­al boost to Eshoo.

“Anna’s pri­or­it­ies in Con­gress re­flect the fu­ture of Amer­ica’s vi­brant and com­pet­it­ive eco­nomy,” Pelosi said in a let­ter to col­leagues an­noun­cing her back­ing of Eshoo, an 11-term law­maker from Sil­ic­on Val­ley.

The race is pit­ting Eshoo, who is the rank­ing mem­ber on the Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Tech­no­logy Sub­com­mit­tee, against the more seni­or Rep. Frank Pal­lone of New Jer­sey, who has fo­cused heav­ily on en­vir­on­ment­al and en­ergy is­sues dur­ing his 13 terms in the House.

Pelosi, in the let­ter, praised Eshoo’s work on sci­ence and en­gin­eer­ing edu­ca­tion and tech­no­logy de­vel­op­ment, among oth­er is­sues.

“She ad­voc­ates in the com­mit­tee and in the House for health care, con­sumer pro­tec­tions, the en­vir­on­ment, and ac­cess to tech­no­logy and is­sues re­lated to wo­men and chil­dren. She has been re­cog­nized for her lead­er­ship in fight­ing breast can­cer, ju­ven­ile dia­betes, HIV/AIDS, and pan­cre­at­ic can­cer, to name a few awards,” Pelosi said.

The let­ter also sug­gests that Eshoo, who has pre­vi­ously served on the In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, is well poised to run the pan­el at a time of in­tense fo­cus on sur­veil­lance policy. Eshoo’s in­tel­li­gence and tech­no­logy ex­per­i­ence give her an “un­der­stand­ing of the bal­ance between se­cur­ity and liberty,” the let­ter says.

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