Rep. Stark Bypassed for Ways and Means Gavel

Mar 4, 2010 10:51am

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports: It turns out that the volatile and controversial Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., will not replace Rep. Charlie Rangel as House Ways and Means chairman after all. House Democratic leadership aides say that Stark — who is next-in-line in seniority and once called a colleague “a little fruitcake,” and told a constituent he wouldn’t waste his urine peeing in the constituent’s leg — will step aside in favor of the less exciting Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. According to the Associated Press, Levin told reporters today: "I think you know my close relationship with Charlie. At this point I'm acting chairman." The maneuvering ends Stark’s service as acting chairman after less than 24 hours. Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement: “Congressman Pete Stark has informed me that, due to his desire to remain as subcommittee Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, he has resigned as acting Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Pete Stark has been a leader in health insurance reform, and we will continue to rely upon him as we enter the final stretch of ensuring health care for all.”

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