Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) have named the members of
their subcommittees, including the Communications & Internet
Subcommittee that has the most direct oversight of communications issues and
With National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon
Smith now able to directly lobby his former senate colleagues (as of January),
he will be able to talk family as well as broadcasting with cousin Tom Udall
(D-Ore.) who is among the committee members.
The subcommittee will again be chaired by John Kerry
(D-Mass.). Democratic members are Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Barbara Boxer
(Calif.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.),
Mark Pryor (Ark.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tom
Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mark Begich (D-Ark.). Boxer is the
only addition, with Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) having retired at the end of the last
Republicans on the subcommittee are ranking member John
Ensign (Nev.), Olympia Snowe (Me.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), John Thune
(R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.),
John Boozman (R-Ark), Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and
Kelly Ayotte. Both Rockefeller are ex officio members of the subcommittee, and
all the subcommittees, by virtue of their leadership positions in the full
committee. New to the committee are Blunt, Boozman, Toomey, Rubio and Ayotte.
The Republican membership includes two of the 10 most
conservative Senators according to National
Journal's just-released ratings--DeMint and Wicker--while none of
the Dems made the Journal's most
liberal list. The Journal said
Friday that its poll showed the most politically polarized Congress in the
three decades it has been rating the legislators.
The Republicans also add some media star power in
Rubio, the Tea Party-backed candidate who is already being talked about as
possible vice presidential or presidential candidate in 2012.