ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: It’s not happening immediately, and it still might be a little messy, but Roland Burris now appears securely on track to being seated as the junior senator from Illinois.
The Senate’s top two Democrats made it clear after a meeting with Burris today that the once-solid opposition to his filling the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama is falling away.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised Burris’ resume and conduct, and outlined a series of steps that, in all likelihood, will culminate in Burris' being sworn in.
“We’re going to do the best we can to make sure the state of Illinois has two senators, not one senator,” Reid told reporters at the Capitol. “We don’t have a problem with him as an individual. At this stage, the process is working out.”
Once the secretary of state certifies Burris, which could happen by court order or by the secretary of state’s own action in a matter of days, the procedural hurdle that kept Burris off the Senate floor Tuesday will drop away.
Then the Senate Rules Committee considers the appointment, and, finally, the full Senate decides. Such a vote would almost certainly result in Burris' being seated, barring unforeseen disclosures.
Reid had come under increasing pressure from inside his own caucus to find a peaceful resolution to the matter.
In laying out a path Wednesday, he made it clear he’d gotten the message.