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House Energy & Commerce Committee Republican Leadership Shuffled

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) shuffled the Republican leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Barton, the ranking member of that committee and its former chairman, named Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to the ranking spot on Energy. Upton had been the ranking member on the Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee.

He will be replaced there by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who dealt with content and intellectual-property protection issues as ranking member and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Replacing Stearns as the ranking member of that subcommittee will be Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), moving over from Oversight and Investigations.

The new ranking member on that oversight subcommittee -- which is launching an investigation into Federal Communications Commission processes and practices -- will be Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

The musical-chairs moves were prompted by the retirement of current ranking Energy member and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois.