U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), outgoing chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, was today selected by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), incoming chairman of the Commerce Committee, to lead the committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. The subcommittee oversees matters relating to the technology and telecommunications industries, including 5G mobile broadband development and deployment.
“As I pass the torch to a new chairman of the Commerce Committee, I am eager to continue working on all of the important issues we’ve advanced over the last four years, particularly those that have had a direct effect on South Dakota,” said Thune. “We made significant progress in helping to make 5G internet a reality during my chairmanship, something I will continue to push for in my new role as chairman of this important subcommittee. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and with the administration and local leaders to continue to encourage 5G deployment, along with a better quality of rural broadband throughout South Dakota and across the nation.”
“Sen. Thune led the full committee for the past four years and has been active in bipartisan agreements on a number of issues under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction including spectrum policy and infrastructure siting,” said Wicker. “I look forward to continue working with him in his capacity of chairman of this important subcommittee.”
Thune served as chairman of the Commerce Committee from January 2015-January 2019. Due to Senate Republican Conference rules, Thune cannot simultaneously serve as chairman of the committee and as Republican whip, the number two position in Senate leadership, a role he’s held since the beginning of the 116th Congress, which is why he relinquished the chairman’s gavel this year.