Both Rep. Boucher and Rep. Markey are senior members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and are both slotted to chair subcommittees. News Reports indicate that discussions are underway for both Boucher and Markey to switch their sub-committees. Markey will replace Boucher as chair of the Energy and Air Quality Sub-Committee, and Boucher will then chair the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee.
This bodes well for the type of legislation that might come out of this committee. Both climate change and internet regulation might be big issues in the 111th congress. Markey has good record on climate issues, chaired the Select Committee on Global Warming and Eergey Independence, and even introduced a bill in the last congress dealing with global warming. Boucher represents a district in Virginia that is dependent on coal mining and therefore cannot give a lot of support to any climate bill. However, Boucher has a strong record on internet and telecommunications issues that include support for net neutrality and increasing broadband access. This gavel switching will hopefully optimize the amount of good legislation that this congress will produce on Climate and Telecommunications issues.
For finding a way to allow each man's strengths to serve the greater good, Rep. Ed Markey and Rep. Rick Boucher are this week's Backbencher of the Week. Congratulations.