Specter's Switch to Democratic Party Will Alter Some Legislative Issues

April 28, 2009 07:00 PM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Democratic Party gets closer to coveted 60-vote mark in Senate to block filibusters


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction 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 nominations approved.

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.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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