Tauscher, 57, a Democrat, chairs the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on strategic forces, which oversees the nation's nuclear weapons. Her 10th Congressional district of California includes major parts of central Contra Costa County (Walnut Creek, Alamo, San Ramon, Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, parts of Concord) as well as cities in east Contra Costa, Livermore in Alameda County and cities in Solano and Sacramento counties.
The Contra Costa Times says she is "regarded as one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on the nation's nuclear arsenal and a moderate who walks a fine line to balance support for nuclear weapons research at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, which is in her district, and the demands of peace activists. ... If confirmed ... Tauscher would serve as a senior adviser on arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament issues to the president and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom Tauscher supported in last year's Democratic presidential primaries."
Vetting Tauscher, a wealthy former investment banker first elected in 1996, could take weeks or months. She would also need to receive Senate confirmation. If Tauscher is appointed, an election would be held to replace her for the rest of her two-year term which ends in January 2011.