The 111th Congress Opens
I’m not going to rehash news here, so much as just bullet point what’s happened this week, mostly for my edification:
1) Roland Burris was denied seating as a Freshman Senator, but the visuals from the spectacle has apprently left the Democrats willing to back down, even if it makes Reid look even more pathetic as a Leader than before.
2) Because the Democrats only have 57 seats with two expected to join them later, the GOP is still successfully holding off on letting new committee ratios and assignments be made, even though on virtually every committee this means bigger margins for the Democrats (due to GOP vacancies) than the GOP is demanding.
3) House Democrats gave freshmen their first committee picks. Virginia Dem Tom Perriello got Transportation, which is a help to his economically depressed district. Glenn Nye got Armed Services, which is a good pick for the Navy-heavy Norfolk area he represents. And Gerry Connolly got Foreign Affairs – for reasons that escape me at the moment.
4) Blue Dogs seem to be buckling under Obama’s popularity on demands for PAY-GO rules in the budget and stimulus package being crafted as we speak, while the GOP seems to be softening their opposition.
5) Despite high praise from his father, former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) ruled out a Senate run while also calling on Republicans to lay off Obama, at least for a while. He even said he was proud to have Obama as his President, a sentiment most of the country shares today.
Those seem to be the biggest news items from this week.