Friday, May 01, 2009

A Devilish Time For Specter

Yesterday a post Specter - Reid Faustian Bargain contained a friend’s email in which he said that if, as reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid entered into a bargain with Sen. Arlen Specter to allow him to keep his Senate seniority in exchange for switching to the Dems, that would cause most Dems to “revolt.”

Last evening The Hill reported - - -

Senior Senate Democrats are objecting to the deal Majority Leader Harry Reid made with Sen. Arlen Specter, saying they will vote against letting the former Republican shoot to the top of powerful committees after he switches parties.

Several Democrats are furious with Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) for agreeing to let Specter (Pa.) keep his seniority, accrued over more than 28 years as a GOP senator. That agreement would allow Specter to leap past senior Democrats on powerful panels — including the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

“I won’t be happy if I don’t get to chair something because of Arlen Specter,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who sits on the Appropriations Committee with Specter and is fifth in seniority among Democrats, behind Chairman Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) and Sens. Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa). “I’m happy with the Democratic order, but I don’t want to be displaced because of Arlen Specter,” she said.

Specter’s first full day in Washington after turning the Capitol upside down with his decision to switch parties suggested a lonely future awaits in the upper chamber. …

[S]enior Senate Democrats exchanged phone calls to voice their objections to Reid’s gambit and one lawmaker said Specter should be happy with a committee seat at the “end of the dais.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and two other members of the Senate Republican leadership asked Specter to refund campaign donations.

One senior Democratic lawmaker told The Hill that the Democratic Conference will vote against giving the longtime Pennsylvania Republican seniority over lawmakers like Harkin, Mikulski and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) when they hold their organizational meeting after the 2010 election. …

There’s more to The Hill’s story here.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps there will be enough Democrats upset with Reid that he will find his position of Senate Majority Leader going to someone else. There are any of a number of Democrats who would be much better than Reid who seems to worship at the Obama altar. Although I disgree with Milkulski on most issues, I found her (when I lived in Maryland) to be a fair, hard-working individual who had the ability to think independently. I do not think that she would be a leader who would kowtow to Obama.