Though Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) will give up the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee when Republicans take control of the House in January, he announced today that he will remain the committee’s top Democrat for the 118th Congress.
“I am honored to be elected ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Pallone said in a statement. “Over the last two years, we accomplished a tremendous amount for the American people, and I am grateful to my Democratic colleagues for once again entrusting me to lead this committee in the upcoming Congress.”
Pallone first became the top Democrat on the committee after then-ranking member Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) retired in 2014; though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California) for the role, Pallone won 100-90 in a secret-ballot vote of Democratic House members. When Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms, Pallone ascended to the chairmanship with no competition.
Now, with House Democrats soon to be back in the minority, he’s expected to be replaced as chair by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), who has been the ranking member for the last two years.
The congressman said in his statement today that he intends to fight Republican attempts to roll back Democratic policy victories from the last two years.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with all my colleagues to build on our efforts to lower costs for American families, bolster our economy, combat the climate crisis, and protect consumers,” Pallone said. “I am also committed to ensuring that the legislative achievements of the past two years are being implemented by the administration as we intended and will aggressively oppose any Republican efforts to undermine them in any way.”
Pallone is one of two New Jerseyans to chair a standing congressional committee in either chamber. The other, Senator Bob Menendez, will retain his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after Democrats kept control of the Senate.