Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Congress Starts a New Session Today

Reagan famously said, "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."  Today the government is starting a news session for the 111th time and is intent on helping YOU during this session.  You are permitted to be terrified.

Today is largely a ceremonial day with the swearing in ceremonies taking place.  (This means Virginia has a new junior senator today.)  However there are two stories of note on the senate side of congress.  

Roland Burris, the man Governor Blagojevich nominated to take Barack Obama's senate seat has been rejected by the senate, and while he is working with senate leaders to resolve the issue, he may take it to court.

Also the Minnesota certified that Al Franken won the Minnesota Senate recount yesterday.  Norm Coleman is challenging this in court as this was a very fishy recount process.  The Senate Republican leadership have vowed to keep Al Franken from taking his seat until the the legal battle is concluded in Minnesota.  Minnesota law will not issue a certificate of election until the litigation process has ended, however some Democrat senators including Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid are pushing for Franken to be seated immediately.

The irony in all of this is that Reid is refusing to seat Burris because he doesn't have an election certificate but talking of seating Franken without one.  

Reid Spokesman Says There Will "Likely Be An Attempt To Seat" Franken. 
"Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that there 'likely will be an attempt to seat [Franken] this week.' A senior Democratic aide confirmed that Senate Democrats hoped to swear Franken in Tuesday, along with the rest of the freshman senators." (Emily Cadei and Kathleen Hunter, "Senate Democrats May Try To Seat Franken," CQPolitics.com, January 5, 2009)

FLASHBACK: Reid Spokesman Says Roland Burris Could Not Be Seated Unless He Has An Election Certificate. 

"'Until he gets a certificate he is not a senator,' said Jim Manley, spokesman for Reid, D-Nev." (Catharine Richert, "Challenges Could Keep Two Senate Seats Open For Weeks,"Congressional Quarterly, January 1, 2009)

Now that is what I would call fair and open government.

In other senate news we still don't have a replacement for Hillary Clinton's senate seat.

No comments: