- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - South Dakota U.S. Sen. John Thune has been named chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

The Senate chose Thune on Thursday to lead the committee, where he had previously served as the ranking Republican member when Democrats controlled the chamber. Expected to receive the post, Thune says he’s excited to head the panel as part of Republican efforts to create jobs and improve the U.S. economy.

Thune says the committee will have six subgroups headed by Republicans to deal with issues ranging from air travel to communications technology. The GOP has assumed control of both the House and Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s second term.

Thune is South Dakota’s senior senator and serves as the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

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