Waxman, Dingell Strike Accord on Health Bills

Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the old bull he ousted from the post, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) have reached an unusual power-sharing arrangement, the two lawmakers announced late Thursday afternoon.

Waxman will cede to Dingell the lead role in drafting health reform legislation, a major priority for congressional Democrats and the incoming Obama administration. In addition, Dingell will retain a sizable staff, remain an ex officio member of each of the panel's subcommittees and become "chairman emeritus" of the full committee.

After Waxman bested Dingell in a contest for the chairmanship last month, Dingell reportedly was weighing a bid to chair the panel's Health Subcommittee, a post currently held by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).

While Dingell won't get that formal title, he seems to have gotten much more: He will be the lead sponsor of the committee's share of the House's health reform bill and a lead negotiator with other House members, the Senate and the White House.

"I intend to be an active and enthusiastic leader on the committee," Dingell said in a statement. "I am delighted that John Dingell and I will work as full partners," Waxman said.

Read the full press release below.

Dingell, Waxman Reach Partnership on Committee Role

WASHINGTON, DC