Barton Takes Over for Tauzin

On Thursday, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) formally took the gavel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where policy effecting broadcasting was frequently shaped under his predecessor, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.). Tauzin is stepping down to become the chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry.

Barton issued the following statement upon the unanimous consent of his chairmanship:

"This is a big new job, and I am mindful of the fact that everything I am, I owe to the people of the Sixth District of Texas. This committee has a long, distinguished history, and I will work hard to be true to both where I come from and where the committee must go to accomplish its great work. I will have additional announcements as to new committee structure and placements next week, and look forward to continuing an active agenda."

The Consumer Electronic Association immediately got in its two cents:
"We congratulate Representative Barton on his elevation to the chairmanship of the House Commerce Committee. Chairman Barton is a true friend of the technology industry, and has helped lead and enable the digital revolution in consumer technology. Under Chairman Barton, the Commerce Committee will continue to play a critical role in developing the 'rules of the road' for the digital age. We look forward to working beside him to ensure the benefits of consumer technology are enjoyed by all Americans."