Wednesday, January 07, 2009
WASHINGTON — Reversing themselves, Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday morning opened the door to allowing Roland W. Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate.
After a private 45-minute meeting with the former Illinois state attorney general, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said that they were open to recognizing Mr. Burris’s appointment as long as he met several conditions.
They said that Mr. Burris, whose appointment was challenged because of the federal corruption inquiry surrounding Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, has to win the signature of the Illinois secretary of state and persuade a state legislative committee considering Mr. Blagojevich’s impeachment that there was nothing untoward about his selection.
“If that comes to a positive conclusion, as we believe it will, the next step is for the Rules Committee to review what has come together here on a bipartisan basis and recommend to the United States Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, the next step,” Mr. Durbin said.
A short time later Mr. Burris said in a news conference that he expected to be reresenting Illinois in the Senate "very shortly."...(Click for remainder).