The Energy and Commerce Ranking Member is not happy that he was excluded from the House/Senate deliberations on the economic stimulus package, set to officially begin at three o'clock this afternoon

Therefore, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the top Republican on that panel, intends to air his frustrations on the House floor throughout the course of the afternoon. He's rounded up several Energy and Commerce committee members to speak out as well.

Though the House and Senate economic stimulus packages both contain a large chunk of commerce related measures, the House Republicans were afforded only two seats at the conference committee table. House Democrats have three spots on the conference committee however; the chairmen of the Appropriations, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce panels will represent the House Democrats. So, Barton's Democratic counterpart, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) will partake in the negotiations.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) appointed Appropriations Ranking member Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-Mich.)

Leader John Boehner said that he wanted to appoint Barton however, he selected Lewis and Camp because the largest portion of provisions in the massive stimulus packages fall within the jurisdiction of their committees.

-- Molly K. Hooper