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Ways & Means: Stark Out, Levin In

After about a day of serving as acting chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) is out and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) is in, Speaker Pelosi confirmed this morning.

Roll Call reported the move earlier, writing that "Democrats on the committee resisted the idea" of the the outspoken liberal taking over the reins in place of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who stepped down amid a number of ethics investigations against him -- including one that ended in a public admonishment of his actions.

Stark, who represents the Bay Area-based 13th District, is known for "his incendiary debating style" and remarks that he concedes are at times "unnecessary," according to the Almanac of American Politics. The 69-year-old is serving his 19th term in Congress.

Levin, the older brother of Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, is serving his 14th term in the Detroit-based 12th District. The Almanac describes Levin as a "hard worker and a details man, willing to spend endless hours with others working out solutions."

Speaker Pelosi released the following 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 Americans.

"With Congressman Stark's decision, Congressman Sander Levin is now acting Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. As Chairman, Sandy Levin will be a powerful advocate for addressing the urgent needs of the American people."