Stepping Up

Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), as the most senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, likely will replace Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who died Monday, as the head of the panel. The Hill reports that Dicks would be acting panel chairman pending a formal vote, for which he is lining up support. Dicks, who called Murtha a “strong leader and exceptionally fair chairman” of the defense spending panel in a statement on his death, is a long-time proponent of Boeing, which has major production facilities in Washington state. He has led a Congressional push to get the Obama Administration to bar EADS (teamed with Northrop Grumman) from competing in the KC-X tanker program over the European government subsidies issue.