Senate Dems May Try To Seat Franken

Senate Dems May Try To Seat Franken

UPDATE: Coleman's Senate office has been ordered closed, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

With the recount battle still underway, the doors to Norm Coleman's Senate offices were locked this morning at the direction of Senate rules committee officials who declared his term expired.

"They can't carry on Senate business," said Howard Gantman, staff director for the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Coleman, in a statement issued at mid-day, said "without question this is a unique situation in the history of the Senate, and specifics are still being determined as to the future of the Senate office."

CQ reports Senate Democrats may attempt to seat Al Franken as Minnesota's new Senator Tuesday, despite the objections of Sen. Norm Coleman and other Republicans.

Senate Republicans are gearing up to block any attempt to seat the Democrat until Coleman's continuing legal challenges are resolved. That could spark the first filibuster of the 111th Congress.

Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., said Monday that there "likely will be an attempt to seat [Franken] this week."

A senior Democratic aide confirmed that Senate Democrats hoped to swear Franken in Tuesday, along with the rest of the freshman senators.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer seemed to endorse this move Sunday, saying the race was settled and that Franken had won the election.

"While there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota," Schumer said. "With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota's seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible."

Senate Republican leaders have said the chamber shouldn't seat Franken until all legal matters are settled, which could take months.

On Monday, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected Coleman's request to count an additional 654 rejected absentee ballots.

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