Upton Update: Fred Upton to Chair Energy and Commerce - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Upton Update: Fred Upton to Chair Energy and Commerce

Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) won the nod from the House Republican Steering Committee to be the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Energy and Commerce has jurisdiction over some environmental matters, technology, and telecom policy, among other things.

There had been an effort to deny Upton the chairmanship based on his moderate-to-liberal voting record on a wide range of issues of concern to conservatives. But the Steering Committee appeared to have been won over by the argument that Upton’s familiarity with the industry and actors under his committee’s jurisdiction. Supporters also claimed that Upton was better able to wage PR battles against the Obama administration than his leading opponent, Joe Barton, especially after Barton’s BP gaffe.

Concessions by Barton and the other Republicans vying to lead the committee make it unlikely that the full Republican conference will end up having to decide the chairmanship. Upton has made a number of commitments and touted his conservative bona fides in recent weeks, so it is possible the conservative campaign against him will still yield some benefits — though it remains to be seen how effective he’ll be at transitioning from a go-to Republican for compromising with the administration to a go-to Republican for overseeing it.

I wrote a column about the conservative criticism of Upton for the main site.

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