Friday, September 19, 2014

Pallone fights to be top Democrat on House energy panel

NJ Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone - AP Photo
Five months into a fierce fight for the top Democratic spot on the high-profile House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone is looking to prove he has the support of a broad base of Democrats, Politico reported yesterday.

The committee, in the Republican-controlled House, is chaired by Fred Upton of Michigan. Pallone is seeking to become the panel's ranking Democrat.

"The New Jersey Democrat released a letter Thursday afternoon signed by 50 Democrats — including a dozen freshmen — who are whipping votes for Pallone in his campaign against Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Politico reported.

"The letter, signed by dozens of prominent Democrats including Reps. John Conyers of Michigan, Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, plays heavily on Pallone’s seniority over Eshoo on the Energy and Commerce Committee dais.

"Democratic leadership is split on the issue. Eshoo has the strong backing of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, while Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland supports Pallone, though he didn't sign the letter.

"Pallone is currently the third-most-senior Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, while Eshoo holds the No. 5 spot. The two most senior Democrats on the panel — John Dingell of Michigan and Rep. Henry Waxman of California — are retiring this year.

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