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New E&C Chair to Be Picked Friday

Industry players should know by Friday (Dec. 2) who the next chair of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee will be.

E&C is the primary oversight committee for the FCC and communications issues. The current chairman, Fred Upton (R-Mich.), was term-limited, so must give up that post.

According to a source following the proceedings, the 35 members of the steering committee that will be picking the new chairs will be voted on Tuesday night. Then they will elect the new chair on Thursday.

Before that, the three candidates will make their presentations in alphabetical order—former E&C chair Joe Barton (R-Texas); E&C member John Shimkus (R-Ill.); and Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who was term-limited as chair of the Communications Subcommittee (subcommittee chairs likely won't be picked until the new year).

The steering committee vote is a recommendation to the full Republican House caucus, which will then weigh in on those recommendations on Friday, though that is generally a pro forma blessing on the steering committee pick.