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Alabama's Rep. Davis appointed to seat on Ways and Means

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Birmingham has won a coveted seat on the House Ways and Means Committee, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California announced Tuesday.

The appointment is a promotion for the congressman, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and is considering a run for the Senate in 2008.

Ways and Means is among the most powerful committees in the House, writing the nation's tax and trade policies while also overseeing high-profile issues such as Medicare and Social Security.

Davis, who is entering his third term, benefited from a decision by party leaders not to return Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson to the committee.

Jefferson, who won a runoff election in his New Orleans district last week, is the subject of an FBI investigation in which agents say they found $90,000 in bribe money in a freezer at his Washington home.

Democrats stripped Jefferson of his Ways and Means seat in June after those allegations surfaced.

Pelosi said Jefferson would remain off the committee until the investigation is completed. She then named Davis to fill the vacancy.

"I appreciate the speaker's confidence in my work," Davis said in a written statement.

"I think that Speaker Pelosi made the correct decision to avoid a prolonged vacancy on this critical committee, and I look forward to serving."

Davis' appointment was approved by a Democratic steering committee and must be ratified by the full Democratic caucus.

Davis has previously served on the Budget Committee
and Financial Services Committee.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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