House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) will replace Rep. Charles Rangel as acting chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee rather than Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont).
There are two wrinkles here, as Marc pointed out yesterday: Levin was not the successor preferred by Rangel, who wanted Richard Neal, a less-senior (11 terms) lawmaker from Massachusetts. Installing Neal would have required the Democratic caucus to ruffle the feathers of four Democrats above him on the seniority totem pole.
Levin comes from a strong state for labor, and many of the big unions are donors though his top two contributors are corporations: Boeing and Honeywell. Given his labor ties, Levin’s time as chairman could mean a progressive vision of taxes from the House’s top tax man.