Two senior House Democrats announced Monday that they both want their party’s top job on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, setting up a showdown to replace Rep. Henry Waxman.
Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents much of Silicon Valley and is a close ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat who has focused on environmental and health issues, both are gunning for the position. Waxman announced last week that he will retire at the end of the term after 40 years in Congress.
Pallone, the more senior of the two lawmakers, said he has begun calling his colleagues about the job, while Eshoo said she has received the “encouragement of members of the committee and the caucus to seek this position.”
In a statement, Eshoo said the panel, which handles a sweeping array of policy issues including telecommunications, energy, and health care, is the “Committee of the Future.”
“It is key to shaping America’s future, just as my Silicon Valley congressional district is,” she said.
She is currently the ranking Democrat on the panel’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission and deals with other technology issues.
She is close with technology giants including Google and Facebook, and a vocal supporter of issues important to them like net-neutrality regulations.
Pallone, a 13-term lawmaker, has focused heavily on environmental and energy topics. He’s currently the top Democrat on the panel’s health care subcommittee.
Pallone is an ally of green groups who has long battled to prevent drilling off the Atlantic Coast, and has called for reinstating a tax on oil and chemical companies to help pay for Superfund cleanups.
Ascending to the committee’s top slot would thrust Pallone into battle with Republicans seeking to dismantle or greatly soften White House climate-change policies, especially planned carbon-emissions limits for power plants.
In a statement, Pallone said Democrats should pick a “leader with strong relationships on both sides of the aisle.”
“Even in the often divided climate of the last several years, I have worked to find common ground with my colleagues to get things done because I believe that our government can still do good things that will help Americans and make our nation even stronger,” he said.
Another possible candidate for the post is Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in history and the former chairman of the committee who was ousted by Waxman in 2008.
In a statement, Dingell left the door open for a possible run at his old job.
“I look forward to continuing to give this thoughtful consideration, speaking with my colleagues upon my return, and from there I will find the absolute best ways in which I can serve the people of Michigan’s 12th Congressional District,” he said.
Ben Geman contributed
What We're Following See More »
"Negotiations are underway to have Bernie Sanders officially nominate Hillary Clinton for president at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, a move that would further signal party unity. According to a source familiar with the talks, the Vermont senator would nominate the presumptive Democratic nominee after the roll call vote."
Bernie Sanders said he'll begin pivoting his campaign to an organization designed to help candidates at the local level around the country. At a breakfast for the Wisconsin delegation to the DNC this morning, he said the new group will "bring people into the political process around a progressive agenda," as it supports candidates "running for school board, for city council, for state legislature."
Everything's getting contentious in Philadelphia this week ... especially the Senate race that's being contested there. "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty called her Republican opponent 'an asshole' while at a labor union event Monday at the Democratic National Convention. The comments about Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) came at a press conference with labor union leaders calling for raising the minimum wage. It was quickly followed by an apology." She immediately apologized in a statement.
Donald Trump has doubled down on his contentious views on NATO, reiterating his belief that the United States shouldn't unwaveringly support its allies. "We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything," the GOP nominee said. "We have to walk. Within two days they’re calling back! 'Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want.'" Last week, in an interview with The New York Times, Trump made waves when he said that he wouldn't necessarily back the United States' NATO allies if they hadn't paid their share, a comment that was rebuked by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Not since Eagles fans booed Santa Claus have this many people been dismayed at Philadelphia. Traffic gridlock, poor logistics, and the inevitable summer heat and thunderstorms are drawing the ire of convention goers, as "peeved" delegates complained about "Homerian odysseys" to get from place to place. "On Twitter, out-of-town media complained about the logistics of the convention, spread out between the sports complex in South Philadelphia, media tents a hike away, and the daytime events at the Convention Center in Center City."