Cornyn Calls Obama's Cabinet Picks 'Very Promising'

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said he's ready to block Democrat Al Franken from taking Minnesota's Senate seat, but he added that he's also optimistic about working with Democrats.

Sen. Cornyn (Texas), the fifth-ranking Republican in the upper chamber, reiterated on CNN Monday plans to block Franken from being seated in the Senate while Minnesota courts consider the fate of hundreds of ballots in Franken's race against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

But Cornyn added that he hopes to work with Franken if he wins and with other Democrats.

"And I think there will be a broad middle ground where we can work together in the best interest of the country," Cornyn said. "It really depends a lot on the Democratic leadership in the Senate and the House and the White House, whether they're going to try to press the liberal agenda of some of their supporters or whether they're going to try to rule from the center.

"I will tell you that President-elect Obama's cabinet appointments have been very promising -- very reassuring in that regard," Cornyn added. "So I'm hopeful and somewhat optimistic we'll be able to get some good things done for the American people."

Cornyn, however, said that Democrats shouldn't refuse to seat Roland Burris, the appointee for Illinois's vacant Senate seat, while seating Franken, who leads Coleman in their recount by 225 votes. Neither Franken nor Burris has yet to obtain an election certificate, which Cornyn says is necessary to be seated under Senate rules.

"You can't say Senator Nominee Burris can't be seated because we're concerned about the process and, yet, turn a blind eye to Minnesota law and the possible double counting of ballots in Franken's favor and the other irregularities," Cornyn said. "I -- that's why I think we just need to take a deep breath and let this sort its way out in court."

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