Upton Picks His Chairs

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House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) Thursday announced his picks for chairs of subcommittees.

Upton indicated he would enlist those chairs in an army of budget-cutters. "Every member and every subcommittee will be on the frontlines as we take on federal agencies -- EPA, HHS, DOE, FCC, you name it -- to identify wasteful programs and target areas to immediately cut spending," he said in announcing the new chairs.

Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will head the Communications Subcommittee, but that cat had already been let out of the bag by Walden himself in a tweeted tip-off (in Morse code, no less). Lee Terry of Nebraska will be vice chair.

Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who Upton beat out for the chairmanship of the committee, was named chairman emeritus, and Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) vice chair.

Also confirmed was Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) as head of the Oversight subcommittee, which would take the lead on any investigations of the FCC, and Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) as head of the Commerce subcommittee.

Upton said he would announce the full makeup of the subcommittees at a later date. He has pledged vigorous oversight, including of the FCC, which he has loudly criticized for planning a vote on network neutrality regs for next week (Dec. 21).

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