FROM LES BLUMENTHAL IN OUR D.C. BUREAU
WASHINGTON – It’s not quite official, but Rep. Norm Dicks is a step closer today to becoming the chairman of the powerful House defense appropriations subcommittee.
The 33 Democratic members of the full House Appropriations Committee unanimously supported the Belfair Democrat for the chairmanship of the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget.
The Democratic Steering Committee still has to sign off. That could come as early as next week. The Democratic Caucus could block it, but that is considered unlikely.
The action came a day after Congress held a memorial service for the subcommittee’s former chairman, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. Murtha died last month.
Dicks is already settling into the chairmanship role. This morning he had a one-on-one breakfast with Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon.