Prospects for the revival of net neutrality legislation during the upcoming 111th Congress were boosted as the House Democratic Caucus voted 137-122 to install Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In ascending to the head of the House committee that sets the tone for U.S. telecom policy, Waxman unseats current House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI), who has held that post for the past two years and who is viewed as sympathetic toward telecom industry incumbents. Although Waxman is viewed first and foremost as an advocate of environmental issues that are poised to factor into the formulation of energy policy during the Obama Administration, Waxman is expected to rally behind net neutrality legislation alongside Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who is slated tentatively to replace Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. (Sources report that Inouye will leave his current post to assume the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee.) Like Rockefeller, Waxman also supports universal service fund (USF) and other policies that would promote the extension of telecom services (including broadband) in rural areas. As Oversight Committee Chairman, Waxman spearheaded a House investigation into the USF usage by 24 major telecom firms, and he introduced a bill in September that would require wireless carriers that receive rural USF support to provide roaming services to other carriers upon request. House Telecom Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (DMA)— a co-sponsor of net neutrality legislation in the previous congress that is expected to be re-introduced in the coming session—said, “I look forward to working with Chairman Waxman to tackle the many issues facing . . . the committee and the country in the next year.” Stressing that his ascension to the chairmanship does nothing to “diminish” Dingell’s achievements, Waxman told reporters: “the argument I made is that we need a change.”