Isn't 10 days for Scott Brown up on Friday?

It isn't like Scott Brown's victory was a close one. It seems pretty clear that the Massachusett's Secretary of Sate is treating Brown's win differently from past victories in special elections. From Slate.

Probably 10 days. To ensure that all overseas ballots have been counted, town clerks in Massachusetts must wait at least 10 days and no more than 15 before delivering a final tally to the secretary of state, William F. Galvin. Massachusetts election law stipulates that Galvin present the results for certification to the governor and "at least five councilors" who "shall examine the copies. They shall tabulate said votes and determine who appear to be elected." Barring a tight race that necessitates a recount (which isn't the case here), this is a purely formal process that can take a matter of hours. The next step is for Brown to take the oath of office. This should also take place without delay since, according to a 2003 report from the Congressional Research Service, it's "prevailing practice" after special elections for the sitting, interim senator's term to expire immediately.

There's a chance Brown will make it to Washington even faster. Technically, the president the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden, or a surrogate may only administer the oath of office after the vote has been officially certified (a minimum of 10 days, in this case). But if Galvin writes a letter informing the Senate of the unofficial winner, that chamber could choose to waive its rules. Ironically, after Ted Kennedy won the special election of 1962, the Senate did just that. More recently, in 2007, Galvin wrote such a letter to the House after Democrat Niki Tsongas won a special election in Lowell, Mass., and she, too, was seated before certification. . . .

Of course, this is one of the reasons that the Dems have been so slow in seating Scott Brown:

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling Thursday after days of failed attempts to reach agreement on any long-term plan to rein in the trillion-plus-dollar deficits now facing the government.

The 60-39 roll call split the chamber sharply along party lines and, at one level, represented a last gasp of the fading 60-vote supermajority enjoyed by Democrats prior to losing a seat in a Massachusetts special election last week.

The House must next act on the measure, but Democrats are hoping for quick approval there, since the bill would mean that lawmakers don’t have to face another politically difficult debt vote before the November elections.

To further seal House acceptance, Senate Democrats attached new statutory “pay-go” legislation long sought by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Major exemptions are included from the deficit reduction rules, but Pelosi has argued for the legislation as a return to the budget procedures of the 1990s under President Bill Clinton.

Nonetheless, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, angrily attacked the debt package as a political move to escape the pressure from voters that Congress do more now to address the nation’s fiscal problems.

“The people of this country have a right to know whether or not this Congress is going to do something about controlling the rate of growth in the debt — before the next election,” Gregg said. “Instead, we’re seeing this attempt to try to take this off the table by moving it past the next election.”

“Well, the American people don’t believe it ought to be off the table. That’s what Massachusetts was all about. They’re worried about this debt. They’re worried about what we’re doing to the next generation of Americans.” . . .



Post a Comment

<< Home