It's official, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has been tapped to head the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Communications & Technology Subcommittee.
Blackburn has been active on the subcommittee, opposing the FCC’s net neutrality rules, broadband privacy framework and set-top box revamp. She has been vice chair of the full committee. She is also on President-elect Donald Trump's transition team executive committee.
“I have no doubt that Congressman Blackburn will make an excellent chair of the Communications subcommittee," said Free State Foundation President Randolph May. "Over the years, she has delivered keynote addresses at many Free State Foundation events, most recently on Dec. 7, so I know first-hand how passionately she feels about reorienting communications and Internet policy in a free market direction. And I know she wants to see the net neutrality regulations curtailed. She obviously understands the issues in a substantive way and will be ready to get right to work. I’m excited by the prospect of Congresswoman Blackburn leading the Committee.”
“NAB congratulates Congressman Blackburn on her selection as Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "America’s hometown TV and radio broadcasters look forward to working with her on behalf of viewers and listeners in Tennessee and across the nation to ensure our communications laws and a reformed FCC enable a competitive media marketplace.”
Former communications Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) was term limited, but moved up to chair of the full committee, succeeding Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who was term limited as well.
The following is a full list of the chairs and vice chairs of the House E&C subcommittees:
Chairman of the Full Committee Greg Walden, Vice Chairman of the Full Committee: Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.);
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology: Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ);
Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection: Chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Vice Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.);
Subcommittee on Energy: Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TeX.);
Subcommittee on Environment: Chairman John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Vice Chairman David McKinley (R-W.V.);
Subcommittee on Health: Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-Tex.), Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.);
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).
“I am honored to be chosen by Chairman Walden to serve on the committee leadership team as the Vice-Chairman for the full committee,” stated Barton of his new post, formerly held by Blackburn. “This Congress has a historic opportunity to enhance the lives of all Americans and that begins in the Energy and Commerce Committee. I look forward to the work ahead.”
“I’m honored to be named chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee and look forward to tackling the challenges before us in this new role,” said Latta following the announcement. “Technology is changing the face of commerce, and this subcommittee will give us the opportunity to ensure that manufacturers and consumers across the country receive the benefits and protections needed to grow our economy. "
“Rep. Blackburn has tremendous experience with many of the most critical issues in telecommunications and technology. Importantly, she is keenly aware of the need for increased investment in our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure, and for policies that encourage private sector investment," said Telecommunications Industry Association SVP James Reid. "With her understanding of the role technology can play in making a difference – both in the lives of consumers and in advancing employment and economic growth – we expect she will pursue a very positive, aggressive agenda.
“As Chair of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, Rep. Latta will play an important role in determining the future of the Internet of Things," added Reid. "We’ve worked closely with him over the years and have confidence he will seek policies that allow IoT to reach its full potential. The recent IoT report issued by the IoT Working Group he co-chaired is a positive sign that its members understand the enormous economic and societal benefits of connected technologies.”
“On behalf of CTIA and the wireless industry, we congratulate Representative Blackburn on her new role as chair of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology," said CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. "Representative Blackburn has long advocated for internet freedom, and has been a powerful voice for common sense privacy rules and broadband policies that support innovation and American jobs. We look forward to working closely with Chairman Blackburn on many important issues, including building a strong foundation for tens of billions of dollars in next-generation wireless infrastructure development.”
“A longtime and tireless advocate for broadband issues, particularly in rural areas, Chairman Blackburn brings a deep well of knowledge and experience that will be a tremendous asset for the subcommittee," said USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter. "The USTelecom community congratulates Chairman Blackburn and looks forward to working with her to promote policies that will encourage continued investment and innovation to help expand broadband access and adoption across the nation.”
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.