WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic leader in the Senate promised Sen. Arlen Specter he would retain his seniority when he jumped from the Republican to the Democratic party, Specter told CNN Wednesday, but faced "pushback" from other Democratic senators.
On Tuesday the Senate confirmed that Specter had lost his seniority in a resolution that set out committee assignments for the entire Senate. The resolution was approved on a unanimous voice vote.
The full Senate voted Tuesday to strip Specter of his seniority, dropping him to the bottom of the pile on every committee he sits on.
The action came on a resolution - passed on a unanimous voice vote - that set out committee assignments for the entire Senate.
UPDATE: Specter has just released a statement on the matter:
“Senator Reid assured me that I would keep my committee assignments and that I would have the same seniority as if I had been elected as a Democrat in 1980. It was understood that the issue of subcommittee chairmanships would not be decided until after the 2010 election. Some members of the caucus have raised concerns about my seniority, so the caucus will vote on my seniority at the same time subcommittee chairmanships are confirmed after the 2010 election. I am confident my seniority will be maintained under the arrangement I worked out with Senator Reid. I am eager to continue my work with my colleagues on the various committees on which I serve and will continue to be a staunch and effective advocate for Pennsylvania’s and the Nation’s priorities.”