Waxman unseats Dingell

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has prevailed in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MIch.) as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The House Democratic Caucus voted 137-122 on Thursday in favor of Waxman, the senior Jewish lawmaker in the House of Representatives. As the committee chair, the Californian is expected to play a key role in shepherding energy and health-care legislation through the House over the next two years.

Dingell, 82, is close to the auto industry and in the past has held up legislation mandating that U.S. automakers increase fuel-efficiency standards and dragged his feet on dealing with climate change. Waxman, 69, is seen by energy independence advocates as more progressive on those issues.

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