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Levin to take reins of Ways and Means

Rep. Sander Levin in March 2009. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post).

By Paul Kane
Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), a pro-union, anti-free-trade liberal who is a close ally of the auto industry, has been selected as interim chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Levin, 79, succeeds Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), who stepped down amid ethics questions.

Levin's ascension Thursday is a rebuke to the seniority system, as Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) was in line to chair the powerful panel with authority over tax and trade issues. But rank-and-file Democrats on the committee rebelled because Stark, 78, has a history of intemperate remarks and has an undisclosed illness that has made it difficult for him to be on hand in recent weeks.

Levin's younger brother, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairs the Armed Services Committee.

Sander Levin stressed the temporary nature of his elevation, telling reporters after a Democratic caucus meeting Thursday morning, "I think you know my close relationship with Charlie. At this point I'm acting chairman."

"Under the circumstances, I could not think of anyone that could serve the country, the Congress and our committee better," Rangel told reporters.

By Paul Kane  |  March 4, 2010; 10:23 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Correction: What's an anti-free trade liberal?

Posted by: mtpeaks | March 4, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, these comments are cryptic.
So for starters please explain to this
novice, what's a free-trade liberal?

Posted by: mtpeaks | March 4, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Do the Democrats really believe that they can hide that crook Rangel in a closet until the midterm elections and then bring him back out and the voters won't notice?

The Democrats are even dumber than the Republicans, if that is possible. They need to censure this criminal and put him in the back benches if they really want to survive the November elections. But they won't. So much for Pelosi's "most ethical Congress ever."

Posted by: hisroc | March 4, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing in the House rule that allows a chairman to take a "temporary leave of absence". You either chair the committee, or you don't. It is not a temporary assignment.

That means if Levin likes the job nobody can make him step down.

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Mathmn, no it is not American and it is unconstitutional what they are doing taking over private corporations and attempting to take over the health care system. It is none of the Federal government business... and as such it is unAmerican... it is communist and or Socialist... if you don't know the difference between that and our form of govenment then that is the problem isn't it?

Posted by: Texican911 | March 4, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Pete Stark-raving-mad didn't get it. He would have been the perfect coup-de-grace for the massive defeat of the loony-left d-crat socialists in November.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | March 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

He needs to get rid of the comb over and learn to groom himself like a professional.

Posted by: staterighter | March 4, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Please spare me the political anachronisms like USSR, "Socialism". These are American legislators and Presidential appointees. What happens in American politics is American, including your obviously reactionary ideas.

Posted by: Mathmn | March 4, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Another Progressive in a powerful position within our government... America is gone long live the Empire USSRa the United States Socialist Republic of Ameria

Think Im kidding? Our way of life is over we have become another failed experiment in the human experince, sad we had a real chance to be different but it only lasted a couple hundred years...


Posted by: Texican911 | March 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Any surprise that Sander Levin D-Mich who is pro-union and anti-free-trade liberal got the job on Ways and Means? The Obama White House could not have asked for a better replacement of Rangel.

Do you think Levin will fall in line with Pelosi to pass health care legislation? Chairman of he Ways and Means can influence other Democrats and Republican in the House. You vote Pelosi Party line and we will take good care of you. Do you have anything for the Ways and Means Committee?

Watch how your Representatives vote. Speaker Pelosi will do what ever it takes for an Obama political win. Her career could depend on it. Ask the White House Chief of Staff, Rahmbo from Chicago.

Posted by: klausdmk | March 4, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

They don't need no stinking rules.

Stark is actually lucky to be eaten alive by the Pernicious Party, he should walk out and run like he-ll from those with a destiny with the gallows for allowing hidden history to swear in.

Posted by: dottydo | March 4, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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