-When Arlen Specter switched from R to D last week, it was expected that he’d still retain his seniority on the committees he belongs to. Turns out, not really…
The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter’s hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian’s party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.
In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved a resolution that added Specter to the Democratic side of the dais on the five committees on which he serves, an expected move that gives Democrats larger margins on key panels such as Judiciary and Appropriations.
But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter’s seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.
“This is all going to be negotiated next Congress,” Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), said tonight.
That is if he even makes it to the next Congress. Joe Sestak has already made noises about challenging Specter in the Primary. And goodness knows this weekend’s appearance on “Meet the Press” didn’t do him any favors.
Voting against Public Plan for health reform? Voting against Obama’s budget? Denying that he said he’d be a “Loyal Democrat”?
Something tells me that most Virgina Democrats watching didn’t say to themselves, “Oh, man. I gotta get me some of that!”
Looks like the Dems just fitted Specter with a shiny new shock collar. Let’s see if it keeps him from piddling on the rug.