Burris Says on TV Senate will Swear him in This Week.
Roland Burris is now speaking on TV, 5:40 pm EST. He said he will be sworn as senator later this week. He thanked senator leader Harry Reid and Illinois senator Durbin and that he will be honored to serve with them.. He even thanked Illinois secretary of state Jesse White.
Burris said he accepted the nomination so that Illinois can have two working senators in these troubling times.. He said he will work hard and work for Illinois and the country. He ended by thanking the people of Illinois and saying that those who opposed him did so from good motives and he is not angry with them.
Burris will replace president elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate this week after legal counsel completes a review. Burris was appointed by governor Blagojevich three weeks after he was arrested on federal corruption charges, including trying to sell the Senate seat. Burris came to the senate to be sworn in with other senators last Tuesday but he was turned away. A decision by the Senate legal staff was made today that Burris, the first African American elected to statewide office in Illinois, was to be seated this week. Burris is a former state attorney general and state comptroller.
Senate Democrats had said that without an appointment certified by the signatures of both Blagojevich and White, Burris could not be sworn in. White refused to sign the appointment which the main reason senators turned Burris away Tuesday. Democrats had vowed not to seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, who was arrested Dec. 9 on federal corruption charges. Obama at first sided with Senate Democrats and urged Blagojevich to resign. But last week Obama asked senators to settle the issue, which had become a distraction from his economic stimulus proposal.
Now maybe we can get on to the real problems in the country.
Roland Burris, whose bid to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the US Senate evolved into a Washington soap opera that consumed Capitol Hill, will almost certainly be seated after all by week's end.
The two top Senate Democrats issued a statement this afternoon confirming that Burris, who was barred from the Senate when the rest of the newly elected members were sworn in last week, met the conditions they set to be accepted.
"The Secretary of the Senate has determined that the new credentials presented today on behalf of Mr. Burris now satisfy Senate Rules and validate his appointment to the vacant Illinois Senate seat," the statement said. "In addition, as we requested, Mr. Burris has provided sworn testimony before the Illinois House Committee on Impeachment regarding the circumstances of his appointment.
Another confirmation. Ths seems settled.
Eager to put the scandal-tainted standoff behind them, Senate Democrats accepted Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama's Senate successor on Monday and said they expect to swear in the new Illinois senator soon. "He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in a joint statement.