Reid Won’t Try to Seat Franken

Posted January 5, 2009 at 8:01pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Monday backed away from a plan to try to seat Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken (D) on Tuesday.

In a statement released Monday night, Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Democrats believe Franken has won his race against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) but would not attempt to force his seating.

“Now that the bipartisan state canvassing board has certified Al Franken as the winner, we hope Senator Coleman respects its decision and does not drag this out for months with litigation … However, there will not be an effort to seat Mr. Franken [Tuesday],” Manley said.

Reid’s decision not to seat Franken came as Republicans warned that such a move could cause significant bad blood at the opening the 111th session of Congress and followed a meeting between Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

McConnell has been clear that he would oppose seating Franken, and sources said earlier Monday that the topic was expected to come up during their evening meeting.