Congratulations have been pouring in for new House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden. The Oregon Republican previously chaired the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
“The House Energy & Commerce Committee plays a key role in helping ensure competitive carriers are able to compete and thrive in the industry, and Chairman Walden understands the importance of mobile broadband, especially in rural areas,” said Competitive Carriers Association President/CEO Steven Berry. “His understanding of the Universal Service Fund and role in crafting the legislation leading to the 600 MHz incentive auction will be an asset to the Committee and to Congress.”
Another former FCC Commissioner, Jonathan Adelstein, now heads the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). He too, congratulated Walden, saying he’s “uniquely qualified” for the role. “WIA appreciates his deep understanding of the pressing issues facing the wireless infrastructure industry. As Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, he succeeded in helping enact legislation that promoted the widespread deployment of the mobile networks that are so vital to consumers.”
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said the former radio owner’s career “has been marked by accomplishment and integrity” and the trade lobby looks forward to working with him in the 115th Congress.
Walden “has long championed the importance of spectrum, common sense regulation and broadband policies that promote investment and innovation,” said former FCC Commissioner and now CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. “We look forward to working closely with Chairman-elect Walden, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) next year on spectrum and infrastructure reform, and the opportunity to build a foundation for tens of billions in investment in 5G and the Internet of Things.
Attwell Baker also thanked outgoing Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) “for all he did to promote innovation, jobs and investment during his six-year tenure as Chairman.” Upton chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee for the last six years. Term limits prevent him from keeping the chairman’s post, Inside Towers reported.
“We look forward to working with Rep. Walden and the entire committee to ensure Congress addresses the unique needs of the wireless infrastructure industry as well as the very real economic benefits mobile networks deliver to communities throughout the country,” stated Adelstein. “We will continue to work with Rep. Walden and members of the committee to promote the wireless infrastructure industry’s priorities, which are aimed at spurring jobs and keeping America competitive in the global marketplace.”
Shimkus and Barton, too, competed for the chairmanship. Walden characterized them as “talented legislators and leaders” to whom he will turn to for help as lawmakers embark on their legislative work. Much work remains in the remaining days of this session of Congress, Upton noted.
Upton said of his colleague Walden: “Like the Chicago Cubs, we are a team full of MVPs and Energy and Commerce will be in great hands with my friend Greg Walden holding the gavel. Greg’s leadership with #SubCommTech demonstrated his hard work and proven record of success.”
December 5, 2016