But after his GOP colleagues unanimously selected him to run the campaign committee, Walden announced that he would serve a second term as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
As chairman of the panel, Walden authored legislation that gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to auction TV broadcast licenses to cellphone service providers. The bill is intended to free up airwaves for data-hungry smartphones and tablet computers.
Lawmakers included Walden's bill in a tax-cut extension that the president signed earlier this year.
Walden also pushed legislation that would limit the FCC's power to adopt new regulations. He argued that bill would increase transparency and accountability at the FCC, but Democrats worried it would hamper the FCC's ability to protect consumers. The House passed Walden's FCC Process Reform Act, but the Democratic-controlled Senate never took it up.
Walden once owned and operated radio stations in Oregon, and he is considered well-versed in issues involving the FCC.