House Panel Backs Waxman Over Dingell As Energy Chair

Nov 19, 2008 8:57am

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Reports: ABC News has learned that House Democratic leaders have voted to strip Representative John Dingell of his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce committee, replacing him with Henry Waxman.

In a stinging rebuke, the House Steering committee voted 25-22 by secret ballot during a closed-door Democratic leadership meeting.

The move was a dramatic one for House Democrats — considered a victory for House liberals and environmentalists, a big defeat for Michigan and the auto industry.

Dingell has been in Congress for 53 years, making him the longest currently serving member of the House and the second longest serving in history.

The vote now moves to the whole House Democratic caucus who will vote Thursday morning. Given Dingell’s role as a political mover in the House, despite his loss at the Steering Committee today, he could still pull off a victory tomorrow.

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