Posted by: Debby Durkee | January 29, 2010

Why is MA “Senator” Kirk still voting?

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Why is MA “Senator” Kirk still voting?

And, why aren’t Republicans calling the Democrats out on this? Scott Brown’s election was January 19th, so according to state laws and rules of the Senate, Paul Kirk should no longer be allowed to vote. Wake up. If his votes will stand on these items, why couldn’t his vote stand on some kind of a compromise between the Senate and House health care bills? Who is asleep at the wheel here? This is from SusanAnne Hiller at http://biggovernment.com.

The Senate has voted on three pieces of legislation today that required 60 votes–to raise the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, to reduce the deficit by establishing five-year discretionary spending caps, and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation–all of which interim Senator Paul Kirk (D-MA) has voted on. In addition, there have been other Senate votes since Scott Brown was elected as Massachusetts senator that Kirk cast a vote.

The main question here is: why is Senator Kirk still voting on these legislative pieces? According to Senate rules and precedent, Kirk’s term expired last Tuesday upon the election of Scott Brown. Snip —

Hiller goes on to quote Michael Stern:

The Senate subcommittee and committee concluded, based on its hearing and review, that “the term of service of a Senator appointed to fill a vacancy in an unexpired term ends on the day when his successor is elected by the people.” 1939 Congressional Record, p. 998. There was evidently no controversy among either the subcommittee or full committee regarding this legal conclusion, and the committee then presented a resolution to the Senate for adoption, expressing the view that Berry’s term of service expired on November 8, 1938, the date of the special election. As Senator Connally, a member of the subcommittee, explained to the Senate, the fact that the Tennessee statute purported to extend Berry’s term until the qualification of his successor was of no force because the statute was “plainly in conflict with the provisions of the seventeenth amendment.” Accordingly, the Senate adopted the proposed resolution without dissent. 1939 Congressional Record, p. 1058.

Hiller goes on to conclude what was mentioned by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard right before the election.

Based on this authority, it would appear that a valid point of order could be raised as to Senator Kirk’s participation in Senate proceedings after January 19, 2010.

Why is the GOP allowing the Democrats to blatantly violate Senate and election rules and laws? Where is the GOP leadership? Will Kirk’s votes stand? Massachusetts voters deserve an explanation as does the rest of the country for this blatant abuse of power.

Read it all here: http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/28/why-is-senator-kirk-still-voting-on-legislation/

As Fred Barnes wrote earlier and I blogged about on January 18 here: https://politicallyempowered.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/ma-senator-kirk-cant-vote-after-tuesday/

…based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.

So, since Barnes showed Republicans the way, why are they allowing this “senator” to continue voting? This seems like a stupid thing to do, so why aren’t they raising hell? Just asking.

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