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Waxman challenges Dingell for key chairmanship

Harry Stoffer
Automotive News
November 5, 2008 - 9:52 pm ET


WASHINGTON -- One of the automobile industry's harshest critics has decided to challenge automakers' best known ally on Capitol Hill for the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., in a statement on his congressional Web site tonight, said that he thought long and hard but decided some of the most important issues in the new Congress will be undertaken in the committee.

He cited climate change, health care and energy and said he has the skill and ability to "deliver legislation that improves the lives of all Americans."

Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, the longtime senior Democrat on the panel, was returned to the chairmanship in 2007 after his party regained control of the House of Representatives in November 2006 elections.

Democrats expanded their margin Tuesday.

A Dingell spokeswoman told the Detroit News that the winning party should not be tearing itself apart with leadership fights and that Dingell will work to retain the chairmanship.
 

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Unless Pelosi is looking to have a ton of very angry, very senior, Democrats (i.e. those from the Midwest) this leadership fight will come to an end very very quickly.
 

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As much as I admire and appreciate Congressman Henry Waxman on a wide variety of issues, I do not support this move. Congressman Waxman has a long history of antagonism toward the US auto industry.
 

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I'd like to see Dingell move on - the guy is 82 years old, for pete's sake.

But, Waxman would be a disaster for the auto industry (and others) in that position, which is one of the most powerful in the House.
 

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Waxman demonstrated a laughable lack of knowledge during his shameful media circus interrogation of Richard Fuld a few weeks ago... it disturbs me that he is seeking this position.
 
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