WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Republicans have decided to delay a vote on a resolution to strip embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens from his committee assignments, Republican senators told CNN Tuesday.
The Senate GOP caucus is delaying the vote in part because the outcome of Stevens' reelection race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich remains in doubt.
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint - a leading Republican critic of Stevens - issued a statement saying it is "clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution... The question now is timing. Some who support the resolution believe we should address this after the results of his election are confirmed in Alaska."
DeMint stated that he would ask the GOP Conference to postpone the vote on Sen. Stevens until Thursday.
One Republican senator told CNN there is no point in holding any vote to strip Stevens of his committee assignments if Stevens loses his seat.
Begich currently has a narrow lead over Stevens, with 47.37 percent of the votes counted, compared to 47.02 percent for Stevens. The two are separated by 1,022 votes out of more than 290,000 cast, according to the Alaska Division of Elections Web site.
Today, 24,000 outstanding votes from the southern part of Alaska are expected to be counted. Absentee ballots, however, are still coming in from overseas. All absentee ballots must be received by tomorrow.
Stevens, who turns 85 Tuesday, was convicted in October of filing false statements on Senate financial disclosure forms. He currently serves on the Senate Appropriations, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Rules committees.