Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Senator Lieberman Will Probably Lose His Homeland Security Gavel In Next Senate

(image via backinasecond)

If the Obama/Biden ticket wins, there will be chairs a-shuffled in the United States Senate. Both Obama and Biden are sitting Senators, so the character of that august body, keeping in mind all the likely pickups, should be markedly different. Depending on how many seats change hands -- will there be a filibuster-proof Democrat majority? -- those changes could be massive, starting with the *possible* replacement of Biden at the prestigious Foreign Relations Committee, by Chris Dodd of Connecticut. And what of Robert Byrd, of the powerful Appropriations Committee, who has been known to take sweet naps on the Senate floor: will he keep his seat (Or, as a little Byrdie tells me, will he too be ousted)? From TheHill:

"Democratic leaders are discussing a major reshuffling of Senate committee chairmanships, according to multiple sources, and the proposed changes include ousting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) from his coveted chairmanship.

".. One Democratic source said Lieberman is not likely to lose his position in the Democratic caucus, even if the party picks up several seats in next week’s election. While Democrats could approach or exceed the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes, they may still need Lieberman’s vote often.

"'There’s no sense in cutting off our nose to spite our face,' one source said.

"The proposed shakeup is hardly final, but it has begun to be sketched out on paper. It depends largely on a victory by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the presidential election, which would result in Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Obama’s running mate, giving up his chairmanship on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The shift also hinges on Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) stepping down as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, which aides say is included in the proposed changes. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) would replace him. Byrd, who turns 91 in November, has been hospitalized three times this year and some have questioned if he is capable of leading the committee.

"Other moves include Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) taking over the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) taking over the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) moving to the helm of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee."

In other Senate news, brocialite Bob Kerry, a lion of the Senate in the 80s, was on The Don Imus show this morning. He said of an Obama Presidency that the best advice he could give the Senator from Illinois is to make things right with John McCain immediately after the election is over. Kerry, presently the President of the New School, said that any existing acrimony -- and considering McCain's temper, there may be quite a bit -- should be quashed by the time of the inauguration. It would be in the best interests of the country if a comprehensive Health Care bill in an Obama administration were shepherded through the Senate by McCain as a co-sponsor, said Kerry.

Much, much more here.

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