Last week the House Energy & Commerce Committee started off with a scuffle over the organizational rules of the panel. In particular, Democrats were irked that Republicans proposed new subpoena authority for the committee chairman, by which he could avoid a vote by the full committee on subpoenas not agreed to by the panel’s minority party leader. Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) were vocal against such a move, and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) called it a “cheap power grab.” The committee members approved the new rule in a divided 28-23 vote. The committee has wide authority, including oversight over the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Energy.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: January 23, 2015