Tauscher Headed to State Department

Posted March 17, 2009 at 10:03pm

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) will be tapped for a top State Department post, sources with knowledge of the pending nomination said.Tauscher’s exit would create a vacancy atop the New Democrat Coalition, a bloc of pro-business moderates emerging as a force in the new Congress.Tauscher, now in her seventh term, has led the group since 2005. A former Wall Street investment banker, she spearheaded a moderate revolt last month against a mortgage measure that forced House Democratic leaders to delay its consideration and grant concessions on a controversial bankruptcy provision.An outspoken backer of then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) during the Democratic presidential primary last year, Tauscher would be heading to Foggy Bottom as an undersecretary, heading up arms control and nonproliferation efforts in Clinton’s department. She currently chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.It is not immediately clear who will replace Tauscher atop the New Democrats if she is confirmed. Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), the group’s whip, appears to be next in line. The coalition has three vice chairmen: Reps. Melissa Bean (Ill.), Ron Kind (Wis.) and Allyson Schwartz (Pa.). Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) rounds out the leadership team, heading the group’s political action committee.