Ellen Tauscher No Longer Member of Congress

Special election planned

Bay Area Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher was confirmed by the Senate late Thursday as under secretary for Arms Control and International Security  at the U.S. State Department.

President Obama nominated Tauscher, D-Alamo, for the position in March. She will now advise the president and Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton on global security, weapons proliferation and arms control.

Tauscher told the House of Representatives this morning that she will resign her 10th Congressional District seat -- which includes parts of  Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano and Sacramento counties -- at the end of the  day.

"I am deeply grateful for the trust that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have placed in me," Tauscher said. "I am equally grateful  and humbled by the honor and privilege to have represented California's 10th  Congressional District for the last 13 years in the House of  Representatives."

"It has been the deepest, and greatest, professional experience of  my life, and I am deeply, deeply grateful for the opportunity and the trust  that my constituents have placed in me," she said.

She added that she had tried to keep her promise to be an "independent, effective moderate."

Tauscher, 57, already served on the House Armed Services Committee and as chair of the Strategic Forces subcommittee. Her district also includes  two national nuclear laboratories, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia.

In remarks during her June 9 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tauscher acknowledged the main focus of  her new role to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and material.

She pledged to work toward Obama's stated goal of "a world without nuclear weapons."

Tauscher told the committee that she would work "to take the  necessary steps to reduce the world's nuclear arsenals while making sure that  we maintain a safe, secure and reliable deterrent against any adversary and  an effective defense for our allies."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, released a statement today congratulating Tauscher on her new role.

"Congresswoman Tauscher has long been a leader on issues of national security and a great advocate on behalf of our veterans," Pelosi  said.

"The House will certainly miss Congresswoman Tauscher's leadership, but the entire nation will continue to benefit from her  expertise, talent, and experience," she said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now has 14 days to set a date for a special election for Tauscher's 10th District replacement, the winner of  which will serve the remainder of a two-year term that will end in 2011.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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