In a unanimous vote cast Friday by Congressional Democrats, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. has been re-elected as Ranking Member of the all-important House Energy & Commerce Committee. The committee oversees FCC regulation, and Pallone has been rather cordial in working with Chairman-Elect Greg Walden, and Rep. Fred Upton, who is exiting as Chairman after six years due to term limits, over several politically charged issues.
In fact, Pallone has been critical of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s biggest proposal, his likely doomed set-top box proposal.
In a statement released Sept. 12, Pallone, the top-ranked Democrat on the Committee, vocalized his uncertainties on Wheeler’s plan.
“As I’ve said before, consumers do not like set-top boxes—they are clunky, outdated, and needlessly expensive,” he said. “While I commend Chairman Wheeler for working to solve this difficult issue, I’m concerned that this latest proposal will not work, particularly when it comes to licensing. Ultimately, I’m skeptical that the revised plan will benefit consumers.”
Meanwhile, Pallone has been supportive of the NAB’s efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic plaguing the U.S., and was present one day later (9/13) at a joint NAB/Partnership for Drug-Free Kids press conference to announce a nationwide, multi-faceted campaign to address the drug abuse of opioids.
“I’m honored that my Democratic colleagues have once again elected me to serve as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Pallone said in a statement. “As we prepare for a new Congress and the new Trump administration, I’m committed to working with all of my House colleagues to develop and push policies that will help build a stronger economy, create more good-paying jobs and protect consumers. The Energy and Commerce Committee will be at the forefront in the vigorous debates over ensuring all Americans have access to affordable health care, safe drinking water, lower energy costs, and a cleaner environment. Committee Democrats are ready to aggressively fight any Republican attempts to reverse critical health care and environmental advancements that we successfully put in place over the last eight years.”
The Energy and Commerce Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictions of any Congressional committee, with oversight of energy, environment, health care, commerce, telecommunications and the internet.
Pallone has held a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee since 1992.