File this one under the counting chickens before they hatch category.
Good old Rep. Joe Barton, the Texas Congressman who is most famous for apologizing to BP after the oil spill, is already outlining his plans for becoming the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Politico is reporting
that not only is Barton eyeing the committee if Republicans regain control of the House, but that he also has some clear aspirations for what he will do if he gets his hands on the committee’s gavel.
“The energy panel, under a Republican majority, could become the launching pad for ideological battles that would define a GOP House digging in on global warming, cap and trade, energy bills, health care repeals and a wide range of business regulations,” writes Jake Sherman and Robin Bravender.
As for Barton specifically, the two reporters say his eyes are clearly set on the chairmanship position. “He’s already talking about investigations he’d like to launch and asserts that he’s got a ‘very good’ shot at the chairmanship,” they write in Politico.
The two reporters also point out that Barton and minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) do not have a friendly relationship, which isn’t good for Barton if Boehner becomes Speaker of the House. Making a potential chairmanship even harder are ambiguous rules about a six-year term limit for ranking members and chairmen of committees. Some say the limits only apply to chairmen who are members of the majority party, others say they apply to both chairmen and ranking members. Ranking members are members of the minority party who are the highest-ranking member of a certain committee. Barton has been the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee since Democrats took control of the House in 2006.
But you have to tip your hat to good old Joe Barton. He may face several obstacles to becoming the chairman of a committee and be famous for apologizing to one of the most vilified oil companies in history, but the man has a plan. That’s got to be good for something.
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