GOP Warns Reid Against Seating Franken

Posted January 29, 2009 at 1:34pm

Senate Republicans on Thursday renewed their threat to block any Democratic attempts to install comedian Al Franken (D) as the new Senator from Minnesota while Franken’s race against Republican Norm Coleman remains in legal limbo.

The 41 Republican Senators in the Conference urged Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a letter to hold off on seating Franken until all the court challenges to the 2008 recount have been exhausted. Coleman, the former incumbent, is challenging Franken’s 225-vote lead.

In the letter, the GOP Senators note that state law prohibits a certification of the vote — normally needed before a candidate can be seated as a Senator— until after the court challenges are resolved.

“Under Minnesota state law the state cannot certify a winner until the contest is resolved in court. The contest is already underway, and it is our hope that process will soon provide answers to the unresolved questions and ultimately finalize the results of this extremely close election,” Republicans told Reid.

The letter comes in response to a new round of statements by the Majority Leader that he may attempt to seat Coleman before the courts rule, a decision the Republican lawmakers said they would look to block.

“We urge you to reconsider recent statements indicating you would attempt to use the power of the Senate to seat Mr. Franken before Minnesotans are able to certify the election. Senate Republicans will actively oppose any Senate action that circumvents the will of Minnesotans or attempts to short-circuit any process that is designed to provide an accurate result,” the lawmakers said.