Earlier this afternoon, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush alerted his House Democratic colleagues of his interest in serving as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet (CTI) in the 112th session of Congress. In his communication with Members, Rush, who currently serves as the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, cited his years of service on the Energy and Commerce Committee as well as his legislative track record which includes playing a leading role as a member of the CTI in helping to move major pieces of legislation into law under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.
In its entirety, Chairman Rush's letter to his colleagues read as follows:
"Congratulations on your re-election and return to the U. S. House of Representatives. Despite the difficulties and challenges that we faced leading up to and through Election Day, I know personally of the hard work, intensive efforts, and costly sacrifices that Democrats put forth and made in the 111th Congress.
"I am writing this letter to inform you that I will be seeking to serve as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet (CTI) in the 112th Congress. As you may be aware, I have been extremely active as a Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee since gaining membership to the committee in the 104th Congress (1995-1997). As a Member, then, of the Telecommunications and Finance subcommittee I immersed myself in communications and technology policy, which helped me to develop a keen understanding of the intricacies of the communications and media marketplaces.
"It was also in that term that the Democratic House leadership selected me as an Energy and Commerce Committee conferee on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to help reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
"My involvement and interest in CTI's activities and its jurisdiction have not waned nor have they wavered during my entire tenure on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Rather, they have grown deeply over the years as traditional and emerging communications providers seek to grow their domestic and global markets, harness underdeveloped spectrum in licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands, and export more of their products, services and technologies to foreign markets. It is vitally important that we have leadership at the helm of this subcommittee which is strong, effective and knowledgeable about the impact that future legislation and policy will have in the marketplace.
"For the past two sessions of Congress, I have served ably as your Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection (CTCP), having convened hearings and markups and successfully guided more than a dozen bills out of full committee--including two that became laws, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and the Wall Street Reform Act. Additionally, I am proud of the collaboration between CTCP and the CTI subcommittee, as led by Chairman Boucher. In working closely with the CTI Subcommittee and its members to conduct oversight and draft legislation, the CTCP and CTI subcommittees held six joint hearings during the 111th Congress on public safety and consumer protection topics, including "texting while driving" and online and offline privacy. These interactions have afforded me additional insights into CTI's functioning, how the Subcommittee is perceived by stakeholders, and under what conditions CTI is more likely to be an effective legislating body.
"The list of issues awaiting CTI's consideration and hoped for resolution in the 112th Congress is extensive. It is my sincere belief that in balancing the respective interests of our constituents, industry, public interest groups, and other stakeholders, we can appreciably contribute to America's prosperity as we work to stimulate the domestic economy, thereby creating good jobs for our nation's citizenry. In closing, I respectfully request your support to become your Ranking Member of the CTI Subcommittee and I look forward to tackling these issues and working with each of you on these matters in the 112th Congress."