Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Jan. 5, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 95.
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House Committees
1/4. The House Republican Conference selected new committee chairmen. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) will be Chairman of the powerful House Commerce Committee. This Committee, and its Telecom Subcommittee, have jurisdiction over much of the technology related legislation. The former Chairman, Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA), retired. This opened a contest between Rep. Tauzin and Rep. Mike Oxley (R-OH) for the Chairmanship. However, the Republican Conference reshuffled committee jurisdictions, and gave both chairmanships. Rep. Oxley will become Chairman of a newly reorganized Banking Committee, now renamed Financial Services Committee. The Committee will also pick up jurisdiction over insurance and securities that had been held by the House Commerce Committee. Rep. Oxley had been Chairman of the Finance Subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee.
1/4. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) will become Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. This committee has jurisdiction over many tech related issues, including intellectual property, crime, and some tax issues. The former Chairman, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), was required to step down by House Republican rules which limit Chairmen to three terms. However, the rules did not prevent Rep. Hyde from being selected Chairman of the House International Relations Committee. The Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee will obtain new members. Rep. James Rogan (R-CA) lost his bid for re-election. Rep. Ed Pease (R-IN) retired.
1/4. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA) will become Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He replaces Rep. Bill Archer (R-TX), who retired. Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL), who is Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, had also sought the spot. This tax writing committee has jurisdiction over many tech related issues, including FSC tax treatment, PNTR status for China, R&D tax credits, and depreciation of computer equipment.
1/4. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will become Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee. He replaces Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA), who retired.
1/4. The complete list of committee chairmen for the 107th Congress is as follows:
Agriculture -- Larry Combest (R-TX)
Appropriations -- Bill Young (R-FL)
Armed Services -- Bob Stump (R-AZ)
Banking -- Mike Oxley (R-OH)
Budget -- Jim Nussle (R-IA)
Commerce -- Billy Tauzin (R-LA)
Educ. & Workforce -- John Boehner (R-OH)
Gov. Reform -- Dan Burton (R-IN)
Intern. Relations -- Henry Hyde (R-IL)
Judiciary -- James Sennsenbrenner (R-WI)
Resources -- James Hansen (R-UT)
Science -- Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)
Intelligence -- Porter Goss (R-FL)
Small Business -- Don Manzullo (R-IL)
Standards on Official Conduct -- Joel Hefley (R-CO)
Transportation -- Don Young (R-AK)
Veterans Affairs -- Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Ways & Means -- Bill Thomas (R-CA)
See, release.
News Briefs
1/4. The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Donald Evans to be Secretary of Commerce. The nomination is sailing for quick and easy confirmation. Committee members praised Evans, and took the opportunity to press Evans about issues handled by the Dept. of Commerce. Senators spoke about 3G wireless, a digital divide, promoting broadband deployment, TOP grants, online privacy, and other tech issues. The non tech issues addressed by Senators included protecting the U.S. steel industry, the census, NOAA, and global warming. Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) presided. Evans is a former energy company CEO and former President of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas. "My mission for the Department of Commerce will be to foster a marketplace where ideas and energy can thrive, where the entrepreneurial spirit will flourish." Evans continued that "whether in seeking agreement on rules for e-commerce or the elimination of trade distorting subsidies, we want to foster a world of private, not government competition."
1/4. Lisa Dean, Director of the Free Congress Foundation's Center for Technology Policy, endorsed the nomination of former Senator John Ashcroft as Attorney General. She cited his sponsorship of legislation to protect encryption rights and electronic privacy. Said Dean, "Privacy was always a top concern and as a result, he did a lot of good for the country and the protection of our liberties as senator." See also, S 2067 (105th Congress).
1/4. The FCC issued a release which asserts that the FCC has "adopted" an NPRM regarding spectrum for 3G wireless services. Also, the NTIA issued a release which states that the FCC has released this NPRM. However, the NPRM has not been published in the FCC web site. And, an FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau employee told TLJ late Thursday that the NPRM has not yet been released, but that it may be released on Friday. NTIA chief Greg Rohde stated that "the United States has to move aggressively to develop 3rd generation wireless if we want to be a first- class nation with respect to telecommunications and electronic commerce. I deeply hope that we will be able to meet our goal of issuing a final order by July 2001. The stakes are nothing less than our international competitiveness in electronic commerce and being a world leader in communications services."
1/4. Sec. of Commerce Norman Mineta held a press conference on the EU safe harbor privacy framework. He announced a series of nationwide seminars. See, ITA release. See also, SIIA release.
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The date indicates when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.
1/4/. TechNet named former Rep. Rick White to be its new CEO. He replaces Jeff Modisett and Lezlee Westine. White represented a Seattle area district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1994 through 1998, when he was defeated by current Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA). White practiced law at the law firm of Perkins Coie prior to, and after, his election to Congress. While in Congress he sat on the House Commerce Committee and its Telecom Subcommittee. He also founded the Internet Caucus. See, Perkins Coie bio and TLJ bio. See also, White's ranking in the TLJ Congressional Scorecard 1998.
1/4. Cisco announced that President Elect George Bush put three Cisco employees on transition committees. CEO John Chambers will be on the  education committee; Director of Government Affairs Laura Ipsen will be on the e-commerce committee; and Government Relations Manager Bruce Mehlman will be on the telecom committee. See, Cisco release.
New Documents
FCC: release re NPRM on 3G wireless, 1/4 (HTML, TLJ).
NTIA: release re FCC NPRM on 3G wireless, 1/4 (HTML, TLJ).
New and Updated Sections
Calendar (updated).
News from Around the Web (updated).
Quote of the Day
"Fostering America's technological leadership will be a central concern of the Commerce Department under my leadership. American inventiveness is a national treasure. ... It is our Patent System, Lincoln noted, that has 'added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.'  The nation's security and prosperity rely on the promise of effective intellectual property protection. Maximizing competitive opportunity also results from the establishment of appropriate industrial standards, from the exploitation of new technologies and new means of doing business, and from the predictable, common sense administration of controls on exports of strategically important goods."

Don Evans, nominee to be Secretary of Commerce, from his testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee, Jan. 4.
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