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Democratic Party gets closer to coveted
60-vote mark in Senate to block filibusters
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or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.
Confirmation on Tuesday that former Republican
Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) would switch to the Democratic Party brought
the Democrats closer to the 60 votes needed to block filibusters.
Immigration reform odds improve. While Specter said
he would not be an automatic vote for the Democrats, his likely yes
vote for immigration reform brings that topic more into play.
Other contentious legislative proposals like cap-and-trade
are more regional in nature and thus are not likely to be impacted
as much by Specter's party switch, widely seen as an effort to avoid
losing his office in a Republican primary for his 2010 re-election campaign.
The switch could improve Democratic chances for getting judicial
Unclear at this juncture is what role Democratic leaders promised
Specter to make the switch, including a possible committee
or subcommittee chairmanship during this session or future Congresses.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) all said they supported Specter and would
campaign for him.
This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or
retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.