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Waxman Defeats Dingell for House Energy & Commerce Chairmanship

What Does This Mean for the Advertising Industry?

This morning, the House Democratic caucus voted 137-122 to install Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) as the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  He replaces Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), who is the longest serving member of the House of Representatives and has been the top Democrat on the panel, either as Chair or ranking member, since 1981.  While most press accounts will focus on the change this means for energy and environmental policy, this is also an important change for the advertising industry. 

Congressman Waxman stated in his first remarks after the vote that he will be an "activist" chairman of the committee. Congressman Waxman is widely respected for his legislative acumen and is known as a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his fellow Californian.  It is also important to note that Phil Schiliro, Congressman Waxman's former chief of staff, has been named Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs in the incoming Obama administration.  It is highly likely, taking into account each of these factors, that Congressman Waxman will be able to assiduously and vigorously pursue his agenda.  

Congressman Waxman throughout his career has focused on the advertising issues.  Some of the areas where he has pushed for regulation include:

It is highly likely that Congressman Waxman will include each of these items on the committee's agenda in the upcoming Congress.  With a new Democratic Administration taking office and a more regulatory-minded Congress to convene in January, we expect that there will be widespread support on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for many of these initiatives.  We anticipate that 2009 will be extremely challenging for the advertising industry. 

If you have any questions, please contact Dan Jaffe in ANA's Washington office at 202-296-2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.  

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