Friday, March 27, 2009

Grassley's priorities

Grassley's priorities: Helping His Senate Buddy

CQ writes:
Charles E. Grassley is thinking about passing up the top spot on a committee he really likes in order to help colleague Arlen Specter .

Faced with Senate GOP term limits that will force him to step aside as the Finance Committee’s ranking member in 2011, Grassley said he might bypass the chance to become the top Republican on Judiciary.

“From my heart, I’d rather have Judiciary than Budget. But out of respect for Specter, I might take Budget,” Grassley said of his Pennsylvania colleague, who is facing a tough re-election in 2010.

Grassley and Specter are among a number of Republican senators looking ahead to a round of musical chairs that has stirred maneuvering by lawmakers and revived grousing about 12-year-old GOP rules that limit senators to no more than six years each as a ranking member or chairman.

Of course, they both have to get re-elected before they play musical chairs.

Specter needs all the help he can get, pinned between a primary challenge from the right and outrage from his sometime allies in labor after he flip-flopped on card check.

On the other hand, I'd rather have Specter as the top Republican on Judiciary when a Supreme Court nomination rolls around than non-lawyer Grassley.

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