So much for insider info and the Congressional senority system.
After "lively discussions" following the initial decision to have Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) serve as acting chairman of the Ways and Means Committee during Rep. Charlie Rangel's (D-N.Y.) leave of absence, a new man now has the job.
Levin's name came up as soon as Rangel resigned his post, but Pelosi opted to stick with the next-in-line methodology. That, however, didn't sit well with the Ways and Means members.
Ways and Means members reportedly raised concerns about Stark's ascension and ultimately gave their unanimous backing to Levin, who's serving his 13th term in Congress and had been helming the W&M Subcommittee on Trade. He'll chair his first W&M meeting on Tuesday.
After the mutiny, Stark indicated that he preferred to keep his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Health rather than run the full Committee. Yes, your-filed-I-quit applies to Capitol Hill, too.
Pelosi is going to catch even more grief for the rapid reshuffling of the Ways and Means leadership and she should. It might have made the old-school boys' club unhappy, but she should have been thinking ahead when she made the first replacement.
At least now, for real, the Ways and Means won't have such a political lightning rod at the head of the table. Now we'll see what work will get done.
- Stark to lead Ways and Means
- Rangel resigns Ways and Means post
- Rangel must go redux
- Way & Means chair in trouble ... again
- Property problems for Charles Rangel
- More Rangel wrangling and W&M ghosts
- 'Rangel Rule' would nix penalties and interest on back
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