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Pelosi may look outside panel for chair

Nov. 29, 2006 at 7:21 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- With top Democratic contenders out of the running, the U.S. House intelligence committee chairmanship could be filled by a panel outsider.

Aides to incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated she wouldn't reappoint Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- nor would she appoint Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., to the post, the Los Angeles Times said Wednesday.

Hastings, who campaigned hard for the position, said in a statement he did not get the post but wanted to remain on the panel.

Hastings, forced to step down as a federal judge after being impeached on bribery charges, struck at his detractors, saying: "I will be seeking better and bigger opportunities in a Democratic Congress. Sorry, haters, God is not finished with me yet."

Democratic aides said Pelosi would probably seek someone not currently on the committee to become its chairman. Among the potential candidates is Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., who served on the committee in the 1990s and is familiar with classified budgets from his service on the House Appropriations Committee.

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