December 31st, 2008
12:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate Dems crafting new plans to block Burris appointment

Reid and other congressional Democratic leaders have said they will block the seating of any Blagojevich appointment.

Reid and other congressional Democratic leaders have said they will block the seating of any Blagojevich appointment.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders are devising a plan to block the appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate for weeks in hopes it will prevent Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from deciding who fills the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN Wednesday.

The aide also rebuffed suggestions by constitutional law experts that the Senate cannot block Blagojevich’s appointment of Burris on the basis that “anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois,” as the top five Democrats in the Senate asserted Tuesday in a statement. Blagojevich is facing criminal corruption charges in Illinois.

“He will not be seated,” said the Senate leadership aide, who insisted Burris will not be allowed on the Senate floor, nor will he be granted a Capitol Hill office, should he show up for the opening day of Congress next Tuesday.

According to the aide, Senate Democratic leadership staffers have been poring over Illinois case law since Tuesday evening, trying to determine if the Burris appointment can proceed if Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refuses to sign off on it, as White has threatened.

If it is determined the lack of White’s signature will not impede Burris’s appointment, Democrats are prepared to file a motion to refer Burris’s appointment to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the committee that credentials members of the Senate, the aide said, adding the motion could be debated and amended.

The process could take weeks and might buy Senate Democrats time if Illinois Lt.. Governor Pat Quinn is able to succeed Blagojevich and pull Burris’ appointment before it becomes final, assuming Blagojevich is forced from office or resigns before the Senate Rules Committee determines Burris’s status. The Senate aide acknowledged Senate Democrats are not sure if Quinn would have that authority.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Senate
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. dittohead with forty names

    Lookout Blago,you could end up like poor Mike Connell and miss the runway the day before he was due to testify about how he rigged the 2000 and 2004 elections with his computor skills.

    December 31, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Frank

    Sounds like Rush and Burris have taken Obama's "I don't look like others on the dollar bill" comment up a notch or two.

    December 31, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. pam Eugene OR

    It is not right that the people of ILL are denied representation just because there is a cloud over Blagojevich's head. It appears there are no allegations of corruption regarding his choice to replace Obama and that being the case he should be seated.
    Reid needs to sit down, shut up and seat Burris until the people of ILL can hold a special election and name someone else.
    Burris has done nothing wrong and Blagojevich has not been convicted of anything. I must say it doesn't look good for him but in the US people get a trial before they are found guilty.
    I think Reid just likes to hear himself talk. We have laws that dictate what must be done and Reid is not bigger than the law.

    December 31, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Stick to your convictions Senator Reid and block Burris, it's about the integrity of the Democrat Party which we have all worked hard to restore. Don't let Blago or anyone else think they are so powerful to throw dirt at our party. Stop Blago now and his appointee.

    December 31, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. bill for barack

    The next senator from Illinois needs to be someone who can come into the office without the slightest hint of a stain. To do any less would be....well, so Republican.

    December 31, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. richard rohde

    Don't tell him he is dong the right thing, he will change his mind. Of course if he called for a special election it would really be the right thing.

    December 31, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Proud American

    I'm in full support of this guy not being seated. ILL better have a special election and soon.

    December 31, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Ron Jeremy

    They are all spoiled brat lawyers on a power trip.

    December 31, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Brian - Trinidad

    If you find anyone who believes that the objection is based on the Governor's low credibility and not that the nominee wasn't Obama's choice,stamp 'IDIOT' on his/her forehead.What a Nixonian crook Obama is turning out to be!He wants to have his supporters rewarded with senate seats in New York and Illinois.It's the Governors' choices! Isn't it crooked to bully the Governors to pick his guy/gal?

    December 31, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    Will you guys in the US Senate just shut up already and let the people of Illnois settle this problem – seems to me that your plate is pretty full with giving 100's of billions of dollars to folks on wall street are bigger crooks than Blago could ever be. None of us are so naive as to believe that the stuff that he is accused of has not been going on forever – almost no politican has ever been elected that did give something or get something on his way in. You set up there in your ivory offices and make deals that help the few and feather your on caps – so just shut up.

    December 31, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Andy

    Racist, redneck Democrats

    December 31, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. CJ in FL

    The U.S. Senate has no business getting involved in this matter. Good grief...why are we tolerating such foolishness?

    December 31, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. America loses, Barack wins for now.

    Reid your popularity and your comrade Pelosi's popularity ratings are about as low as they can go, half that of Bush. Do us all a favor and just get out of the way of our country and let the country solve its own problems. The more you Democrats get involved in our lives the worst our lives become.

    With Barack I fully expect a huge move towards Big Brother trying to solve all of our problems, instead of just letting us work through on Main street our own problems with lower taxes and more jobs.

    Name just one time that government has improved our economy with stimulus packages, etc.. You can't because economic historical data not only inthe US but around the world has never shown it helped the economy, not even once.

    Are we going to be a country of people all having our hands out and nobody working with your artificially created jobs stimulus package. What happens when the stimulus money runs out? Does everyone that got their artificially created job, get a pink slip? This is insane and our children will have to pay for it big time (further shrinking their economy). Just look at how left wing policies work in Michigan and the democratically run state of California.

    As I said America loses.

    December 31, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. aware

    Reid is nuts! 😦

    December 31, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Betty

    Hang in there, Harry!!!Don't let them use the "race" card to try to stampede you. This is definitely an example of an official who has and is misusing his position. By standing up to his shenanigans, you can send a message that others can take to heart...the American people are not going to tolerate such blatant abuse of power, no matter who tries to wield it.

    December 31, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. redneck

    Don ; Harry wouldn't know whats right if it bit him on the posterior! How did Reid ever get elected in the first place?

    December 31, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that Burris (for whatever reason) chose to accept the governor's nomination, the Senate can still chose not to seat him since it isn't done by election. The Senate can chose who it allows. I would think that it wouldn't do it that often because most of the people who arrive are elected. Burris isn't elected but appointed which makes all the difference.

    December 31, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. California Gold

    It's only been 24-hours since Burris stepped up to the microphone to accept Governor Blagojevich's appointment and man alive has it called down the thunder. I hope Burris understands this is tarnishing a lifetime of professional conduct to align himself with the governor, who will be indicted next week. Is he that greedy to be a Senator that he is willing to throw his credibility and standing in the toilet? I hope he re-thinks this decision and rescinds his acceptance. As some point you have to decide what's important: your reputation and character or your aspirations.

    December 31, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. aware

    Keep this nonsense up if you want more and more people to realize that PEBO is part of the same Chicago political cesspool of palm-greasing thuggery! 🙂

    So stop making fools of yourselves! Gov. Blagojevich will be exonerated. He is no worse than any other Chicago politician including PEBO and most of the cronies now in the Senate! 😦

    The U.S. Senate needs to accept Roland Burris "

    December 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. obama-mama

    Burris should kick Blago's hind parts for screwing up his chances for appointment. Tarantula forehead needs to be placed on house arrest so he cannot stir up anymore controversy......

    December 31, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. MorningStar

    This is Illinois problem. Mr. Holy Reid has to stay out of it. All those politicans have their own dirty here and there!

    December 31, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Candia

    While I appreciate Reid's insistence, I'd rather he show it once in a while against Republican Obstructionism. It's rather frustrating to see him find a spine against fellow Democrats, but inevitably cave in against the other party.

    December 31, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. richard

    Reid thinks he can get more money for the Senate Seat.

    December 31, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Sherrol in Canada

    DO NOT seat this fool whose blind ambition has clouded his better judgement. Due to this he will not make a good US Senator.

    As far as I'm concerned Burris is demonstrating to IL and to America that he is not capable of making good sound decisions. No wonder although he aspired to higher office, he never made it.

    Listen to the citizens of ILDem Senators, they were the ones that kept him from higher office, they know this man better than you do and I believe it's evident that there is something lacking in Burris..

    I can't stand to see that cheshire cat smile of his, makes me clench my teeth....ggggrrrrr!!

    December 31, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Vicki5

    Oh, just let the man serve in that Senate seat and let's move on. Like him or not, Burris is right. How can you not seat a guy just because you don't like the guy who appointed him. AND, why did the prosecutor release all that info on Blago like that. He didn't even have an indictment yet. I don't see them releasing all the details about Coleman for example and his investigation. I am back to thinking Blago was a political hit, especially since the prosecutor is now saying he needs more time.

    December 31, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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