Sen. Arlen Specter says he has an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to become the next chairman of the Judiciary Committee, but three senior Democrats are blocking the deal.
Specter (D-Pa.) has worked diligently behind the scenes to boost his seniority on the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations committees and hopes to settle the issue before the election.
“The arrangement I had with Reid [D-Nev.] is that I would have the same seniority as if I had been elected as a Democrat in 1980,” Specter said in an interview with The Hill. “I would be behind [Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick] Leahy [D-Vt.], and when he moved up to chairman of Appropriations, I would move to chairman of Judiciary.”
When Specter switched to the Democratic Party almost a year ago, he was given the last seat on the dais of the Judiciary and Appropriations panels.
He has since turned into a model member of the Democratic Conference, voting with party leaders more than 95 percent of the time, and worked to convince his fellow Democrats to support his deal with Reid.