Senate Democrats put off plans to seat Franken

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded to Republican threats and agreed on Monday not to immediately seat fellow Democrat Al Franken, whose razor-close victory in Minnesota faces legal challenges.

Senate Republicans had planned to disrupt the opening of the new Congress on Tuesday by blocking Franken's swearing-in.

And in another ugly fight, Senate Democrats vowed to block, at least for now, the seating of fellow party member Roland Burris whose appointment by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich carries a whiff of political scandal.

The 57-year old Franken, who gained fame as a writer and performer on the satiric Saturday Night Live television show, on Monday officially was declared the victor by a 225-vote margin by Minnesota state officials from nearly 2.9 million votes cast.

But lawyers for incumbent Republican Norm Coleman complained the recount was conducted unfairly and promised a court challenge that could take weeks to resolve.

"Shortly after Election Day, Coleman criticized Mr. Franken for wanting a recount and wasting taxpayer money. Now that it is clear he lost, Coleman should follow his own advice and not subject the people of Minnesota to a costly legal battle," Jim Manley, spokesman for Reid of Nevada, said in a statement.

"However, there will not be an effort to seat Mr. Franken tomorrow," Manley said.

If both Franken and Burris were sworn in, the Democrats' majority in the normally 100-member Senate would swell to 59 -- their biggest margin in 30 years and just one short of the needed 60 votes to end Republican procedural roadblocks.

'HOPING AND PRAYING'

Many Democrats say Blagojevich's appointment of Burris to the Senate is tainted since the governor has been charged with having earlier tried to sell the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama after the Nov. 4 elections.

But others, including some prominent black politicians, say it would be wrong to withhold the seat from Burris, who would take over from Obama as the only African-American member of the chamber.

"We're on our way to Washington as a senator from the great state of Illinois," Burris told reporters in Chicago on Monday before boarding a plane to the capital. "I'm hoping and praying that I will be seated."

Reid, who plans to meet with Burris on Wednesday, said without elaboration this week there may be room to negotiate while the 71-year-old former Illinois attorney general said he would not be chased away easily.

"The appointment is legal ... what has been done here is legal. That's legal. I am the junior senator from Illinois and I wish my colleagues from the press would recognize that," Burris said, adding that he was nevertheless prepared to be turned away from Tuesday's official swearing-in ceremony.

"My lawyers will take it from there; we'll see what happens," he said.

Burris declined to discuss the possibility of agreeing not to run for a full term in 2010 if Democrats permitted him to be a senator for the next two years -- a possible face-saving deal for all. "I can't negotiate in the press," Burris said.

In the Minnesota battle, Republicans said the declaration of Franken as the winner did not end the contest.

"The race in Minnesota is not over," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said. "Under Minnesota law, an election certificate does not issue until litigation has been concluded. And it's my understanding that a lawsuit will be filed ... contesting certain aspects of the accounting."

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Everything comes down to the two Senate runoffs in Georgia. If we lose both races, we lose the country. Democrats know this and are pouring in millions to usher in a Marxist agenda.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" to explain how mail-in ballots are typically disqualified during recounts at a far higher rate than in-person, Election Day ballots, and why this is "good news" for President Donald Trump's legal battle over the election.

"One of the things that gives the greatest cause for optimism is, this election ... there's a pretty marked disparity in terms of how the votes were distributed. On Election Day, with in-person voting, Donald Trump won a significant majority of the votes cast on in-person voting on Election Day. Of mail-in voting, Joe Biden won a significant majority of the votes cast early on mail-in voting," Cruz explained.

"Now, here's the good news: If you look historically to recounts, if you look historically to election litigation, the votes cast in person on Election Day tend to stand. It's sort of hard to screw that up. Those votes are generally legal, and they're not set aside. Mail-in votes historically have a much higher rate of rejection … when they're examined, there are a whole series of legal requirements that vary state by state, but mail-in votes consistently have a higher rate of rejection, which suggests that as these votes begin being examined and subjected to scrutiny, that you're going to see Joe Biden's vote tallies go down. That's a good thing," he added. "The challenge is, for President Trump to prevail, he's got to run the table. He's got to win, not just in one state but in several states. That makes it a lot harder to prevail in the litigation. I hope that he does so, but it is a real challenge and we shouldn't try to convince ourselves otherwise."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean is perhaps even more disgusted with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his coronavirus response than BlazeTV's Stu Burguiere (read what Stu has to say on the subject here), and for a good reason.

She lost both of her in-laws to COVID-19 in New York's nursing homes after Gov. Cuomo's infamous nursing home mandate, which Cuomo has since had scrubbed from the state's website and blamed everyone from the New York Post to nursing care workers to (every leftist's favorite scapegoat) President Donald Trump.

Janice joined Glenn and Stu on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday to ask why mainstream media is not holding Gov. Cuomo — who recently published a book about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic — accountable?

"I'm vocal because I have not seen the mainstream media ask these questions or demand accountability of their leaders. [Cuomo] really has been ruling with an iron fist, and every time he does get asked a question, he blames everybody else except the person that signed that order," Janice said.

"In my mind, he's profiting off the over 30 thousand New Yorkers, including my in-laws, that died by publishing a book on 'leadership' of New York," she added. "His order has helped kill thousands of relatives of New York state. And this is not political, Glenn. This is not about Republican or Democrat. My in-laws were registered Democrats. This is not about politics. This is about accountability for something that went wrong, and it's because of your [Cuomo's] leadership that we're put into this situation."

Watch the video excerpt from the show below:

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As America grows divided and afraid to disagree with the Democrats' woke plan for America, Megyn Kelly is ready to fight back for the truth. For nearly two decades, she navigated the volatile and broken world of the media. But as America leans on independent voices more than ever, she's breaking new ground with "The Megyn Kelly Show."

She joined the latest Glenn Beck Podcast to break down what's coming next after the election: Black Lives Matter is mainstream, leftists are making lists of Trump supporters, and the Hunter Biden scandal is on the back burner.

Megyn and Glenn reminisce about their cable news days (including her infamous run-in with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump) and to look into the chaotic and shady world of journalism and the growing entitlement it's bred. For example, many conservatives have been shocked by how Fox News handled the election.

Megyn defended Fox News, saying she believes Fox News' mission "is a good one," but also didn't hold back on hosts like Neil Cavuto, who cut off a White House briefing to fact check it — something she never would have done, even while covering President Obama.

Megyn also shared this insightful takeaway from her time at NBC: "Jane Fonda was an ass."

Watch the full podcast here:

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