Pelosi Nixes Hastings

By Catrin Jones

Nov 28, 2006 4:42pm

ABC News’ Liz Marlantes Reports: The next chairman of the Intelligence Committee hasn’t been selected yet, but Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi has officially taken one name off the list.  "Congressman Alcee Hastings and I have had extensive consultations, and today I advised him that I would select someone else as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee," Pelosi said today in a statement.  That "someone else" is unlikely to be current ranking member Jane Harman (D-CA), who is said to have a frosty relationship with Pelosi.  Hastings theoretically would have been next in line for the job according to seniority – but his appointment would have been a PR headache for Pelosi, given his history: he had been impeached as a judge in the 1980s (though was acquitted by a jury). The Congressional Black Caucus had supported Hastings’s quest for the slot, but the group may not make too big a fuss over this slight, since a number of other African-American lawmakers will be taking over gavels in January.

So who will Pelosi tap?  The leading name appears to be Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), who is third in line and would be the Democrats’ only Hispanic chairman.  It’s worth noting, however, that Pelosi doesn’t have to follow the order of seniority (Rep. Rush Holt is another name that’s been bandied about) and she doesn’t necessarily even have to pick someone currently on the committee – she could pull any well-respected lawmaker off another committee for the job.  She’s expected to make her decision before the end of next month.

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