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Shimkus Takes Aim At Chevron Defense

As Congress returns for the lame duck session, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) was taking not time in trying to drum up support for his bid to chair the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC.

Shimkus sent out a dear colleague letter on Sunday (Nov. 13) seeking support, saying if he got the post, he would be gunning for the Chevron Defense--the courts' deference to agency expertise.

"[W]e will use our oversight and investigative authority to rebalance the federal government, recommending changes so future administrations won’t have the same ability to abuse their power," he wrote. "In particular, this will entail building the case against the Chevron Deference, which has enabled executive agencies to upend congressional intent through the courts.

Our success in this area will restore Congress as the sole lawmaking apparatus of the federal government."

Current E&C chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is term limited and has to give up the chairmanship.

Also looking to be named chair is Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee, who is term limited in that chairmanship.

"In just a few short weeks the Steering Committee will hear directly from Members seeking chairmanships and seats on various committees," Shimkus wrote. "Since the Members of the Steering Committee are yet to be determined, I thought it best to share with all of you my qualifications and my vision as I seek your support to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce."

Shimkus cited as accomplishments pushing for "policy changes to expand rural broadband deployment in a fiscally responsible way, and to grandfather existing broadcaster Joint Sales Agreements."

While Shimkus has seniority, a point he makes in a slick two-page pitch, Walden was chair of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, raising money and strategizing to help Republicans limit their losses to a handful of seats rather than the couple dozen some had predicted could be in trouble.

The NRCC blog points out that Walden "raised and transferred over $4 million during the 2016 cycle,” adding: “Beyond his financial contributions, Chairman Walden was relentless in his efforts for the committee, traveling 254,000 miles in his four years heading the committee, the equivalent of ten trips around the world, spending 281 nights on the road and hitting 40 states."