The House Intelligence Committee gets a chairman

After weeks of very public deliberation, Speaker-to-be Pelosi makes her choice.

Published December 1, 2006 4:37PM (EST)

Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi apparently has her man. Rep. Silvestre Reyes will head the House Intelligence Committee, the Associated Press reports today.

Reyes appears to be the compromise choice over the two presumed candidates who had posed such a difficult choice for Pelosi over the past weeks, Rep. Jane Harman and Rep. Alcee Hastings. Each posed different challenges: Harman and Pelosi reportedly have personal and political issues between them, and Harman has been a supporter of some of President Bush's controversial intelligence operations. Hastings, for his part, is a former federal judge, who was impeached and removed from the bench in 1989 because of charges of corruption and perjury. But both had powerful constituencies behind them. Harman had the support of the "Blue Dogs," the conservative bloc within the Democratic Party, while Hastings was backed by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Reyes, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is a former border policeman from Texas; Reyes also served in the Army during Vietnam and received a Purple Heart. He was first elected to the House in 1996.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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