Al Franken was sworn in today by Vice President Biden with a beaming Vice President Walter Mondale looking on using a Paul Wellstone Family Bible.
Franken’s swearing-in gives Democrats their coveted 60-40 majority, ensuring that they can crush GOP filibusters if they stay united and that Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) can vote despite illnesses they are battling.
Democratic leaders expressed confidence that if the GOP tries to stall legislation, they will be able to keep their caucus unified to overcome the delaying tactics.
On procedural votes, we’ll keep the Democrats together,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. “We’ve done that in the past. We’ll do it in the future. I would hope the Republicans understand that they should be part of the game here.
Among the committees Franken will be seated on are the Senate Judiciary Committee, which begins its debate over the Sotomayor nomination July 13, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which continues Tuesday its consideration of a sprawling health care bill.
On his first vote, Franken voted against an Obama bill to take money away from keeping buses safe from terrorism. No rubber stamp for him.
I think this will be my last post about Al Franken for a while so I want to end with my favorite Franken cartoon.
This is by JEFF KOTERBA (Omaha World Herald / cagle.com).