Add former tech exec and chairman of the House Judiciary Internet Subcommittee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to the list of possible successors to John Boehner (R-Ohio) as speaker of the House.
Following the surprise withdrawal of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (also R-Calif.) from the race Oct. 8, Issa released a statement saying, "It’s incumbent upon us to have a robust conversation about the direction and future of our party. I pledge to play a constructive role in that discussion and hope my colleagues will do the same as we work to choose a Speaker who best represents the values and aspirations of the American people.”
In an interview on MSNBC Friday morning, Issa suggested he fit the bill. He said he would take on the tough fights. He said he could be "potentially a candidate," then described the kind of leader that was needed, someone who has been a chairman—he is former chairman of the House Oversight Committee—and someone willing to fight for fiscal responsibility when a fight is needed—something he said he was willing to do.
Issa said it is ultimately the Republican conference's call about the speakership and he did not have the hubris to tell it who was the best candidate. "This is a job you can't run for. You can make yourself available for it."
Issa is familiar to media companies as an opponent of net neutrality rules and more recently of an effort to transition the Internet domain naming authority from U.S. oversight to a multistakeholder model. He has also pushed the FCC to free up more 5 GHz spectrum for unlicensed Wi-Fi, something cable operators have been doing as well.
Broadcasters will also remember Issa for his push for a GAO investigation of broadcast lobbying expenditures back in 2012.
Before his election to Congress in 2001, Issa was CEO of California-based Directed Electronics and served two terms as chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association.
CEA President Gary Shapiro posted a blog Friday (Oct. 9) with five reasons why Issa should be Speaker, including that he is "unbuyable" and is a "leader" who "'gets' tech and can "move frogs in a wheelbarrow."
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.
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