Senate Democrats backed away from a major rebuke of Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) on Tuesday morning, keeping their colleague as the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the next Congress and stripping him only of his slot on a lesser subcommittee.
Though many Democrats and liberal activists wanted a tougher penalty for Liebermans disloyalty his aggressive criticism of President-elect Barack Obamas candidacy and his support of GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) Senate Democrats ultimately voted to allow Lieberman to stay at the plum Homeland Security post.
Instead, Lieberman will leave the Environment and Public Works Committee entirely, including his top spot on the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection.
"That's where we ended up," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said.
Senators approved the motion by a resounding vote of 42-13.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.