Wednesday, November 29, 2006

west texas congressman considered to head intelligence committee

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-El Paso) may have a shot at being appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when the new Congress convenes in January.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the incoming Speaker of the House, has said that she will look past the ranking Democrat on that committee, Rep. Jane Harman of California. Today, Pelosi announced she will not appoint Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, formerly the front-runner for the position.

Tuesday's decision came despite Hastings pleading with colleagues to ignore the "sometimes venomous attacks" stemming from a bribery investigation in the 1980s.

Hastings, then a federal judge, was acquitted of the criminal charges that resulted from the probe, but he was later impeached and removed from the bench by Congress.

Texas Democrat Reyes is the third ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and is now the most likely pick to chair the committee in the Democratic Congress.

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