McCain drops out of Commerce


John McCain (R-AZ) is resuming his Senate career after spending the better part of two years chasing an assignment in the Oval Office. But his resume will no longer include a prominent seat on the Senate Commerce Committee.

Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) congratulated those comprising the new Republican committee lineup. Now sitting on the minority side will be one of McCain’s frequent Republican allies on communications issues, Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), along with John Ensign (R-NV), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Roger F. Wicker (R-MS) and David Vitter (R-LA), all returning veterans. Coming back after a hiatus will be Sam Brownback (R-KS). Commerce rookies include Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Mike Johanns (R-NE).

The Democrats will have a new chair, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who moves up due to Dan Inouye’s (D-HI) move to Appropriations. The rest of the Democratic lineup has not yet been announced.

RBR/TVBR observation: McCain has not been a factor of late on the committee he chaired not so long ago. That means that it may well behave much more like a two-party committee than a cabal between McCain and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) when it comes to communications matters. For McCain, it seemed the letters N, A and B were just the same as a red cape is to a bull. His exit will certainly make life easier for David K. Rehr.