Democrats adjust Senate Commerce membership


Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (picturedJay Rockefeller) will continue to wield the gavel as Chair of the influential Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the rest of the lineup will also be familiar to close observers of the Committee. There is a change, however.

On to other assignments will be Tom Udall (D-NM), and taking his spot will be Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Rockefeller stated, “I’m excited to welcome Senator Blumenthal to the Commerce Committee. He brings serious expertise as a former Connecticut Attorney General and he will strengthen this Committee, particularly in our efforts to protect consumers and bolster personal privacy. At the same time, I wish we could have kept all existing members. Senator Udall has worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents and I deeply appreciate his major contributions to this Committee’s successes. He remains a strong voice in the Senate for consumer protection and will no doubt continue to make an impact on these issues.”

In addition to Rockefeller and Blumenthal, the Committee roster will include Daniel Inouye (D-HI); John Kerry (D-MA); Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Bill Nelson (D-FL); Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ);  Mark Pryor (D-AR); Claire McCaskill  (D-MO); Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mark Begich (D-AK).

RBR-TVBR observation: The really interesting roster will be coming from the other side of the aisle. The Committee’s top three ranking members – Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) are all leaving the Senate. DeMint leaves a second opening atop the Communications Subcommittee, which also includes Snowe on its roster. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Republican side of the aisle shakes out.