BURRIS’ FATE…. The AP and NPR are reporting the same thing: “Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat.”
The move, if the reports are accurate, comes just one day after Senate leaders rejected Burris’ credentials and blocked him from entering the Senate chamber.
Now, whether this is a done deal is not entirely clear. The Politico, citing two Senate Democratic aides, said the leadership had not yet decided to seat Burris. What’s more, the Majority Leader’s office told TPM that the AP report is “wrong.”
Also note, while Dianne Feinstein broke ranks yesterday and said she believes Burris should be seated, this morning Russ Feingold said he, too, believes the Senate cannot legally block Burris’ appointment.
We’ll know more soon enough, but at this point, none of these developments are making the Senate Democratic leadership look especially effective or in control.
Update: At a brief press conference this morning, Barack Obama was asked about the possibility of Burris filling his seat. Obama had expressed support for Senate leadership’s position, but this morning, struck a more accomodating note: “That is a Senate matter. But I know Roland Burris, obviously he’s from my home state. I think he’s a fine public servant. If he gets seated then I’m gonna work with Roland Burris just like I work with all the other senators to make sure that the people of Illinois and the people of the country are served.”
Second Update: Burris met with Reid and Durbin this morning, and everyone apparently gone along swimmingly. The leaders, however, indicated that they won’t resolve the appointment issue until two points are addressed: “a ruling from the state Supreme Court on whether the missing signature of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is required for the appointment to be valid, and for Burris’ testimony tomorrow before the Illinois House impeachment committee.”