WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has clipped the wings of the panel's former chairman as part of a reorganization plan.
Stevens, who took over for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after the former GOP presidential candidate was forced by term limits to give up the gavel, at the same time elevated the status of the committee's ranking Democrat, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, Television Week said Monday.
Inouye was named the committee's co-chairman by Stevens which, though it is not an official designation, reflects the two men's longtime friendship as well as Stevens' desire to run the committee in a bi-partisan manner.
Under the reorganization plan Stevens put forward, the communications subcommittee that McCain had hoped to lead is abolished, with media industry issues being handled at the full committee level under the leadership of Stevens and Inouye. The reorganization dramatically reduces McCain's influence over legislation pertaining to the multi-billion dollar U.S. media industry.