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In a highly anticipated vote by the House Democratic Caucus yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., won the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee from Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.

"I am honored by the vote of the Democratic Caucus," Waxman said in a statement following the House vote. "We are at a unique moment and have an opportunity that comes only once in a generation. I will work with all parts of our Caucus and across the aisle to deliver the change that the American public expects us to deliver."

Waxman also commended Dingell's work as chair of the committee.

"I have worked with Chairman John Dingell for 34 years," he said. "He has been a true legislative champion. I will always admire and respect him and his many legislative accomplishments."

Although the House and Senate moved to settle Congressional leadership this week for the 111th Congress, the Senate races in Minnesota and Georgia remain undecided. Should Democratic candidates Al Franken and Jim Martin secure those seats from Republican incumbents Norm Coleman and Saxby Chambliss, Democrats would have a 60-seat majority in the Senate, enabling them to attain cloture in the event of a Republican filibuster.

The Star Tribune reports that a recount in the Minnesota race between Franken and Coleman started Wednesday and remains ongoing, with half the votes counted as of Thursday evening. And in Georgia, the race between Martin and Chambliss will be settled in a runoff election scheduled for Dec. 2.


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