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Upton Plaudits Pile Up; No Communications Subcommittee Chair 'Til Next Week

Salutes to the incoming chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Fred Upton (R-Mich.,) began to flow in Wednesday (Dec. 8) after the house Republican Conference made it official--he had already been the recommendation of the selection committee.

"Our challenges are great with near double-digit unemployment and record deficits, but our new majority and leadership team led by Speaker Boehner are ready to deliver," Upton said.  "We will stand firm in our fight to repeal Obamacare, cut reckless spending, strip away the countless job-killing regulations, and spur job creation.  We must work towards a new era of less government and more jobs - the administration's rampant spending and unfettered, two-year assault on the health, energy, and telecommunications sectors is now over."

Upton has named Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) chairman of the Health Subcommittee, but has yet to pick any other chairmanships. That will come next week after he sits down with committee members to talk about priorities. Upton has already signaled one of his priorities for communications policy, which is stopping the FCC from imposing network neutrality rules.

“CTIA and the wireless industry are pleased Congressman Fred Upton will serve as the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said Steve Largent, president and CEO, CTIA-The Wireless Association.  "I’ve worked with Fred since I served in Congress and have found he has a great understanding about the issues that are important to our industry. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro seconded that. “We are very pleased to congratulate Congressman Upton on his chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce," he said. "Over his career, Upton has been a leading and steadfast advocate for the technology industry. He understands that innovation will be the key to restoring a robust economy and maintaining America’s global leadership. We look forward to working with him on ensuring the allocation of additional spectrum for wireless broadband use, and other issues key to our economic future.”

“We would like to congratulate Congressman Upton on his selection as the next Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said US Telecom President Walter McCormick, Jr. "He is a leader with broad experience on telecommunications issues and a fair and balanced legislator. US Telecom and our member companies look forward to working with him and the committee to achieve our shared goal of expanding broadband access to all Americans.”

AT&T followed suit. “AT&T congratulates Congressman Upton on his appointment as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said Tim McKone, AT&T Executive VP of Federal Relations. "With his extensive knowledge of telecommunications and his unwavering support for policies that foster investment and job growth, Congressman Upton’s leadership will be invaluable in shaping our country’s broadband future.  We look forward to working with him as well as the other members of the committee.”

"NAB looks forward to working with Congressman Upton in his new role as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said Gordon Smith, himself a former congressman (Senator from Oregon). "Over the years, Fred Upton has served Congress with class and integrity, and has shown a willingness to find meaningful solutions to real problems that confront the American people. We welcome his chairmanship and the opportunity to make the case in his committee for preserving and enhancing free and local broadcasting."

Smith will be able to make the case in person starting in January, when his two-year moratorium on lobbying his former colleagues expires.

“I congratulate my longtime friend, Congressman Fred Upton, on his election as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said Senior Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. "Fred brings his deep understanding of communications policy and strong commitment to free market principles to the chairmanship. I look forward to continuing to work with him, and all of his colleagues, on the important communications matters facing our nation.”

"Representative Upton is a veteran legislator who has a demonstrated ability to lead, a track record of accomplishments, and a well-earned reputation for getting things done," said Verizon Senior VP of Federal Relations, Peter Davidson.“We anticipate that as chairman, Congressman Upton will ensure that federal communications policies are pro-innovation, pro-investment, and pro-consumer, especially with respect to the treatment of 21st century high-speed Internet networks."