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Rep. Stearns to Lead GOP On Telecom Panel

Washington – Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) has been named the GOP’s senior member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, replacing Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) announced Friday in his role at the GOP’s senior member on the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

Barton indicated that the reshuffling was caused by the resignation of former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Il.), who had been the Republican Party’s ranking member on the Energy Subcommittee. Upton is filling Hastert’s old slot.

“Losing Denny Hastert’s years of experience and unique insights makes our job of creating and advancing the policies that will win back the majority next year that much tougher,” Barton said, “but I’m lucky to have the best subcommittee leaders in the Congress, and this team is eager for the big job that lies ahead,” Barton said in a statement.

The Telecom panel, headed by veteran Democratic Rep. Edward Markey (Mass.), oversees the Federal Communications Commission as well as cable, phone, wireless, satellite TV, and telecommunications providers.