February 03, 2009

Will Gregg's Nomination Make Dems Filibuster Proof

The New York Times is reporting that Obama will nominate Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) for the post of commerce secretary.  This will leave New Hampshire's Democratic governor to fill Gregg's vacated seat.  With Al Franken's likely victory in Minnesota the Democrats could get to a filibuster proof 60 seats were Gregg to be replaced by a Democrat.  Taking the threat of a filibuster off the table would, among other things, strip the Republicans of a valuable tool in combating Obama's judicial nominees.  Gregg has said that he will not accept if a Democrat was named to his seat saying,
"'I have made it clear to the Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle and to the governor that I would not leave the Senate if I felt my departure would cause a change in the makeup of the Senate,' [Gregg] said. 'The Senate leadership, both Democratic and Republican, and the governor understand this concern, and I appreciate their consideration of this position.'"
Hopefully Gregg will get the governor to confirm a replacement in writing to ensure that the GOP retains the threat of the filibuster.