U.S. Rep. Tony CardenasLOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas will now be Los Angeles’ voice on the most powerful committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tuesday, Cárdenas was named to the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee, the oldest of the “authorizing committees,” where many pieces of historic legislation have been created and first debated.

“This committee is the most important in our House,” said Cárdenas. “I am honored to serve and I hope I can focus debates on issues important to the Los Angeles region and our nation. I intend to use the breadth of my experience to be ready on day one to discuss solutions to the challenges faced by our nation.”

Cárdenas brings more than 18 years of legislative experience to the committee, which is “vested with the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee.” In recent years, it has had responsibility for the Affordable Care Act; climate change and energy policy; telecommunications policy; consumer protection, including food and drug issues; and overall commerce, including issues affecting the entertainment and tech industries.

“As a former small business owner, an engineer, head of the California Budget Committee and a leader in environmental progress in the city of Los Angeles, I have a unique set of skills and experiences,” said Cárdenas. “This is an important time for America, as we build a new American economy. The Energy and Commerce Committee will be an important part of that building process.”

Cárdenas will serve as one of only two Hispanic members on the committee, helping represent the 20 percent of American consumers who are Hispanic. He will be only the fifth Hispanic member of the U.S . House to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Cárdenas will be the only member on the committee from Los Angeles, one of the most diverse economic regions in the nation and a key driver of international business. The region was previously represented on the committee by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica), who served as chair and ranking member in recent years.

“As a member of the whip team communicating between Southern California Representatives and our leadership, I am pleased that my colleague Tony Cárdenas has been selected to serve on the powerful Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees a broad range of issues including interstate and international commerce, consumer protection, the environment, energy policy, telecommunications and more,” said U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles). “Having previously served with Congressman Cárdenas when we were on the L.A. City Council together, I am confident he will represent our region well.”

Cárdenas received the endorsement of his regional colleagues for the position in a vote Tuesday morning.

“The Energy and Commerce Committee is one of the most powerful committees in Congress,” said U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who represents the San Fernando Valley district alongside Cárdenas’ district. “Tony will be in a great position to help Valley businesses in the high tech and medical device industries. And I know Tony will fight for consumers and the environment.”

Historically, the Energy and Commerce Committee has led on trade and commerce, while also focusing on consumer protection. In 1906, it passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, one of the first instances of the federal government instituting health standards on nearly every product used by Americans, to make certain that large food and drug companies were not using their size to obscure products containing potentially fatal ingredients.

More recently, the landmark Affordable Care Act came from legislation debated for more than 100 hours in hearings conducted by committees including Energy and Commerce. The committee is expected to be at the epicenter of upcoming debates on net neutrality, changes to the Affordable Care Act, energy policy and media consolidation, including the Comcast-Time Warner merger.

“At its core, our government must fight to promote the health and welfare of our citizens,” said Cárdenas. “I will continue my fight to protect the underserved in our nation, including protecting the Affordable Care Act, while also working to create good, middle-class jobs for American families.”

On the committee, Cárdenas has committed to be a voice for the entertainment industries that call the Los Angeles region home, as well as the region’s emerging tech and energy sectors.


The assignment to this prestigious committee comes just after Cárdenas was re-elected as a Regional Whip, joining Rep. Janice Hahn. Hahn and Cárdenas will serve House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer as representatives of Southern California (Congressional Districts 21 through 53.)