AP source: Dodd rejects health panel chairmanship, Harkin next in line
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate aide has confirmed that Sen. Christopher Dodd has told his colleagues he will not succeed his friend, Edward Kennedy, as chairman of the Senate panel focused on overhauling the nation's health system.
Dodd's decision means that he will continue to head the Senate's banking committee and focus his efforts on pushing through a major overhaul of federal banking regulations.
Whether Dodd would succeed Kennedy, who died last month of brain cancer, was the subject of much speculation on Capitol Hill. Dodd was next in line to lead the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. That position will likely fall to Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa.