This is very good news, if true. Republicans frequently gun for Pete Stark because he’s fearless and he doesn’t back down from a fight. I was concerned that House Democrats would shy away from elevating Stark to such a powerful position, but Pelosi did indeed select him to replace Charlie Rangel as the head of the panel. And since John Boehner is objecting to the temporary nature of Rangel stepping down, Stark may get the seat permanently.

Here’s who Pete Stark is:

Two years ago, a source on Capitol Hill who used to work in Representative Pete Stark’s office told me a great anecdote about Representative Stark.

One day, a lobbyist from a large energy company entered the lobby of Representative Stark’s office. When he heard who was in the lobby, Representative Stark yelled from another room “get the f*ck out of here!” When the lobbyist laughed a bit and didn’t leave, Representative Stark came into the lobby and yelled again “no, get the f*ck out of here!” The lobbyist then left.

Stark has chaired the Health Policy Subcommittee at Ways and Means, and he introduced a bill last year that would essentially provide Medicare to everyone. He’s a good ally at Ways and Means.