Tags: reid | specter | senate

Sen. Reid: Specter to Work With Democrats Starting Now

Tuesday, 28 Apr 2009 02:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter said on Tuesday he will switch parties, moving Democrats closer to a 60-vote Senate majority that would allow them to break Republican procedural roadblocks.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Specter will begin working immediately with Democrats, who would then control 59 seats in the 100-member Senate - one vote short of the 60 needed to bypass Republicans and push through legislation.

Democrats could reach that 60-vote threshold if they capture the still contested Minnesota Senate race. Democrat Al Franken won the vote tally, but Republican Norm Coleman is challenging the outcome in court.

Specter, 79, one of the few remaining prominent moderate Republicans, faces a difficult re-election battle in Pennsylvania next year.

He said the "Republican Party has moved far to the right" and noted that some 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their voting registration for the November 2008 election, in which Democratic President Barack Obama handily won the state.

"My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans," Specter said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site.

The party switch is not a complete surprise because he was facing a tough primary bid to be the Republican candidate for the Senate seat in the state. Specter also broke with Republicans to support the $787 billion economic stimulus bill in February.

"I know it had to really tear him up, but he had to face reality," said Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, a longtime friend of Specter. "He has a better chance of winning reelection as a Democrat than a Republican."

An administration official said Obama was handed a note during his daily economic briefing that said Specter would announce he was changing parties.

A few minutes later, the official said Obama reached Specter and told him "you have my full support" and that we are "thrilled to have you."

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved