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Senate Softens On Burris

U.S. Senate-appointee Roland Burris holds a news conference Wednesday in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla
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Getty Images
U.S. Senate-appointee Roland Burris holds a news conference Wednesday in Washington.

Senate Democratic leaders are changing course and it looks as if the Senate will seat Roland Burris as the junior senator from Illinois once all legal obstacles are overcome. Senate leaders Harry Reid and Dick Durbin both have said they have no problem with Burris.

Durbin and Reid said two matters must be cleared up for Burris to be seated.

First, Burris needs the signature of Illinois' secretary of state on his certificate of appointment, a matter being considered by Illinois' Supreme Court.

Second, it has to be clear that his appointment was not part of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell the Senate seat. Once those matters have been cleared up, Reid said the Senate could take up Burris' appointment.

A growing number of Democratic senators are now calling for Burris to be seated, both to end what's been a major distraction for the Senate and to have one more vote in their caucus.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Welna is NPR's national security correspondent.