Jay Rockefeller will have a three-member edge to work with when the 111th Congress Commerce Committee gets down to business. The Democratic lineup features a lot of returning veterans, with three newly-minted freshmen on hand at the bottom of the seniority totem pole. Former chair Dan Inouye (D-HI) will still be on hand, along with John F. Kerry (MA), Byron L. Dorgan (ND), Barbara Boxer (CA), Bill Nelson (FL), Maria Cantwell (WA), Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ), Mark Pryor (AR), Claire McCaskill (MO) and Amy Klobuchar (MN). The incoming freshmen include Mark Begich (AK), Tom Udall (NM) and Mark Warner (VA).
RBR/TVBR observation: Dorgan has exhibited more interest in broadcast matters than any other senator from either party over the past several years. It will be interesting to say the least to see how far he will try to push his agenda with Democratic control of this committee, on the floor of the Senate and the White House.