Waxman tapped to succeed Dingell on key committee


There will be a change in the leadership of the influential Committee on Energy and Commerce in the next Congress, with Southern California Democrat Henry Waxman taking over for veteran lawmaker John Dingell.

Waxman prevailed over incumbent Dingell, D-Mich., for the chairmanship, which has under its purview the FCC and many issues that Hollywood holds dear. It's an open question whether the committee will have entertainment and media issues front and center when the new Congress gets to work in January.

"Other issues likely are initially going to predominate over telecommunications and media issues," said Andrew Lippman, practice leader at Washington-based law firm Bingham McCutcheon.

Waxman has been an advocate for media independence and accountability, pushing for free airtime for candidates, trying to increase regulations on over-the-counter drug advertising and seeking to regulate product placement and media depictions of smoking.

He also has a record of backing Hollywood studios that goes back two decades to his efforts on fin-syn. (partialdiff)