Democrats Gain Control of the House – Congressman Nadler Expected to Chair the House Judiciary Committee

One of the most significant changes in Washington will be the change in Committee Chairmen.  Democratic control of Congress means that democrats will now become chairmen of key important committees.

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D NY 10th) is expected to take the reins of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. This will make him one of the most powerful members of Congress.  He will set the agenda on a number of issues.  He has been described at measures, methodical and a constitutional scholar.  His first task will be oversight of the administration and protecting the Robert Mueller’s investigation.

While Congressman Nadler’s primary focus will be on the administration, he had championed a number of copyright related issues. For years Congressman Nadler has introduced legislation that would impose performance fees/tax on radio stations.  Of course we have strongly opposed this legislation.  We expect the issue to become very active in the next two years.

Most incumbents retained their seats. Nonetheless, next year’s delegation will have several new members:

  • NY 11th – (Staten Island/Brooklyn) – Max Rose (D) beat Dan Donovan (R)
  • NY 19th – (Hudson Valley/Capital Region) – Antonio Delgado (D) beat John Faso (R)
  • NY 22nd – (Central NY) – Anthony Brindisi (D) appears to have beaten Claudia Tenney (R)
  • NY 25th – (Rochester) – Joe Morelle (D) will replace the late Louise Slaughter
  • NY 14th – (Queens) – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) easily won her general election

Note, while Anthony Brindisi is holding a lead of 1,273 votes, Claudia Tenney has stated that she may prevail when absentee and military ballots are counted.  If Mr. Brindisi holds on, the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will be comprised of 6 republications and 21 democrats.

Changes in House leadership will have an impact on communications issues.  You can expect the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which will be chaired by Congressman Frank Pallone (D NJ), to hold a number FCC related hearings.  Net neutrality is likely to be at the top of the agenda.  Moreover, you can expect a democratically controlled House of Representative to be critical of any TV and perhaps radio ownership deregulation. With the Senate still in Republican hands, it is unlikely there will be any legislation.  Nonetheless, the House can keep the FCC extremely busy with hearings and oversight.

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