Thursday, November 20, 2008

Waxman Unseats Dingell - UPDATED

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has beaten Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) for the Chairmanship of the House's Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 137-122. This is big.

Dingell was always a thorn in the side of Democrats when it came to Detroit and tougher CAFE standards. He is about three months away from being the longest serving House member in the history of Congress. Looks like there was some bitter infighting with this committee, with Dingell seeking a final two years as Chairman and Waxman refusing to wait another term to take over the seat.

"Our nation faces many challenges, including the climate crisis, and Congressman Waxman understands that we can't delay in taking on these issues," said Karen Wayland, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

She also paid tribute to the outgoing Mr. Dingell, saying the group recognized his contribution on toxics, endangered species and other environmental issues.

UPDATE (11/21/08 1:05am):

Jane Hamsher: This is a huge defeat for the Blue Dogs, who have become the primary recipients of the massive corporate donations which used to flow to the Republicans. They were were hoping to use Dingell as a roadblock to keep any meaningful change from happening with regard to issues under the Committee's jurisdiction -- telecommunications and health care, energy and environmental protection, interstate commerce and consumer protection.

Though she never took a public position, nobody has any doubts that Nancy Pelosi orchestrated this.

This week the Senate voted to remain an exclusive club of self-protection and entitlement by letting the corrupt Bush enabler Joe Lieberman keep his gavel, but the House voted for progress.

Anyone who thinks that other members of the House aren't soiling themselves over this huge blow to the traditional system of seniority and entitlement hasn't been paying attention.

No comments: