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BP Defender 'Confident' He Will Lead Energy Committee

CNBC.com
Thursday, 28 Oct 2010 | 2:06 PM ET

U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), the congressman who ruffled feathers on Capitol Hill last summer by making a public apology to former BP CEO Tony Hayward, is "confident" he will become the next leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee if Republicans win the U.S. House in next week's elections.

"If that happens, the Republican Steering Committee—which I'm a member of—would nominate to the full conference and I am confident that I will be nominated," Barton said in an interview with CNBC Thursday.

Rep. Barton's Top Priority
The top priority of a Republican Congress will be to roll back Obama-care, says Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

"And I am confident, hopefully, that the conference would confirm me to be chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee," Barton added.

Barton previously served one term as chairman in 2006. Under current rules, he can serve two more terms.

Topping his list of priorities, the congressman said, is to "repeal the Obama health care law," noting that two-thirds of jurisdiction for the law would fall under him.

He also dismissed suggestions his tendency toward controversy makes him an unattractive candidate for committee chair.

"I'm an honest person—I speak the truth as I know it," Barton said.

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