McCain Lies About Commerce Committee Jurisdiction

Matt Corley’s got the video of John McCain telling tall tales about his committee’s jurisdiction, arguing “I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights [sic] every part of our economy.”

Since McCain really did chair the Commerce Committee he presumably has some familiarity with its actual jurisdiction, namely:

1. Coast Guard.
2. Coastal zone management.
3. Communications.
4. Highway safety.
5. Inland waterways, except construction.
6. Interstate commerce.
7. Marine and ocean navigation, safety, and transportation, including navigational aspects of deepwater ports.
8. Marine fisheries.
9. Merchant marine and navigation.
10. Nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences.
11. Oceans, weather, and atmospheric activities.
12. Panama Canal and interoceanic canals generally, except as provided in subparagraph (c).
13. Regulation of consumer products and services, including testing related to toxic substances, other than pesticides, and except for credit, financial services, and housing.
14. Regulation of interstate common carriers, including railroads, buses, trucks, vessels, pipelines, and civil aviation.
15. Science, engineering, and technology research and development and policy.
16. Sports.
17. Standards and measurement.
18. Transportation.
19. Transportation and commerce aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands.

The Commerce Committee does play an important role in economic regulation, particularly through its jurisdiction over “interstate common carriers.” But as Corley observes, it’s the Banking Committee that oversees the financial institutions we’re currently worried about. And then of course the Finance Committee has authority over important aspects of the economy, including the crucial health care sector and there’s an Energy and Natural Resources Committee that also oversees substantial economic functions. It’s pretty unworthy of a veteran senator to be engaged in this kind of silly resume puffing. The Commerce Committee is important, but it doesn’t come close to overseeing the entire economy.