We speculated before Thanksgiving, now it's official: Waterloo Rep. Bruce Braley has a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Braley played a big role in the most under-reported story of the post-election era, the coup that kicked John Dingell out of the Energy and Commerce chair and replaced him with Henry Waxman. The shift from auto industry apologist Dingell to environmentalist Waxman will make a bigger policy difference than most cabinet appointments. Braley allied early with Waxman and brought votes with him.
Combine this with Braley's organization of a "Populist caucus" and it looks like Bruce is getting a foot on the leadership ladder in his second term.
Cribbed from the press release:
“Our country is at an important crossroads,” said Congressman Braley. “That’s why I’ll be working on the Energy and Commerce Committee to create jobs in Iowa and to help make it the world’s renewable energy leader. I’ll also be working on this committee to make health care more affordable and accessible to Iowans in these uncertain economic times.
“I look forward to working with a new president and a new chairman on this committee to bring the change we need to our country’s energy and health care policy.”
The Energy and Commerce Committee is an exclusive committee, meaning members of the committee may only serve on other House committees with a waiver from the Speaker.
Braley is the first Iowa Democrat to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee since the modern version of the committee was formed in 1946.