The House Democratic Caucus today voted 137 to 122 to replace Mr. Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who is the longest serving member of the House, with Mr. Waxman. It named Mr. Dingell chairman emeritus.
The move reshapes the outlook for media and advertising issues in the new Congress. Mr. Waxman didn't immediately name chairmen of his panel's committees and it wasn't clear if U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who has headed the committee's panel that examines media issues, would remain in that post or be replaced. Mr. Waxman declined to comment.
The Energy and Commerce committee is the main House panel dealing with telecom, health and energy issues
Mr. Waxman is more of an activist than Mr. Dingell and has suggested that the committee needs a more aggressive approach in dealing with health and energy issues.
Today he declined to offer any immediate plans for dealing with media issues, saying instead that he would rely on subcommittee chairmen for help in setting that agenda.
Mr. Waxman has been a House sponsor of legislation that would impose a moratorium on direct-to-consumer advertising of new drugs.