Two Blue Dog Dems get new subcomittee posts

Ways and Means Democrats have named Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) the chairman of the trade subcommittee.

Fellow Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) takes over from Tanner as chairman of the subcommittee on Social Security.

Tanner replaces Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), who became acting chairman of the full committee last week after Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) temporarily stepped down.

Tanner, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, is seen as a pro-trade Democrat by business groups. He voted in favor of granting former President George W. Bush fast-track authority.

Tanner and Pomeroy were both next in line for the subcommittee chairmanships at the two subpanels.