If Republicans capture the majority in the US House of Representatives, one member who holds a senior position on the key Committee on Energy and Commerce could wind up holding THE senior position. The member, Fred Upton (R-MI) has just gone on record saying that the negotiation between Fox and Cablevision over retransmission compensation is a business, not a government matter.
The Ranking Member of the committee is Joe Barton (R-TX) but according to House GOP protocols, he is due to move on. However, he is maneuvering to get a waiver to the protocol and remain on top of the committee should the title Ranking Member be upgraded to Chairman after a successful Republican November.
If he is not able to do so, Upton is a prime candidate to take the Chair. The other names that have been mentioned have been Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Cliff Stearns (R-FL) – Upton has also had the lead GOP role in that subcommittee – and E&C veteran John Shimkus (R-IL).
Asked to comment on the Fox/Cablevision situation by Politico, Upton said Congress should remain on the sidelines for as long as possible. He also noted that the absence of the New York Yankees from the World Series took a little bit of the pressure out of the situation.
Upton also said there would be no lame duck deals on network neutrality. He said it would better for his party to wait until it has “a much stronger hand” in January before agreeing to any kind of compromise.