Franken Meets With Reid, Discusses Senate Business

Posted January 21, 2009 at 5:27pm

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for 30 minutes late Wednesday to discuss committee assignments and other Senate business in the event that Franken is seated in the coming weeks.

Reid and Franken, speaking to reporters in the Majority Leader’s Capitol office, clearly believe the former comedian will be seated, and they insisted that the Minnesota Senate race is over and that incumbent Republican Norm Coleman was defeated. Franken was leading by 225 votes after a state canvassing board recount, but Coleman has filed a court challenge to the results and believes his case is strong.

“President Obama yesterday said that we’ve got to get to work and to address the problems that we have. So that’s what we’re doing here today,” Franken said. “We’re talking about the stimulus package, the calendar here in the Senate, so that when I do get here, I can hit the ground running.”

Coleman led his race for a second term the day after election and every step of the way thereafter until the end of the canvassing board’s hand recount of every ballot — about 3 million were cast overall. The contest of the result filed by Coleman is provided for in Minnesota election law, and the outcome of the race cannot be certified until all court challenges are complete.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to consider Coleman’s case next week.

But Reid, confident that Franken will be certified the winner, insisted Wednesday that the race is over.