Reid opposes effort to fill Senate vacancies by election

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe missed opportunity of JASTA States urged to bolster election security How the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he will oppose an effort to require that Senate vacancies be filled by election instead of gubernatorial appointment.

Four freshman Democrats serving in the Senate are appointees: Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices MORE (N.Y.), Michael BennetMichael BennetEconomists have a message: Clinton's policies are wrong for America Senate rivals gear up for debates Grassley pulling away from Dem challenger MORE (Colo.), Ted Kaufman (Del.) and Roland Burris (Ill.).

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Earlier in the day, the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee advanced a proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to require that Senate vacancies be filled by direct elections. Vacancies are now filled by appointment or election, depending on each state's laws.

But Reid said he would not support Senate passage of Feingold's amendment.

"I'm not in favor of our dictating to a state what it should do," Reid told reporters. "We have a system now where some states have special elections and some have governors appoint.

"In the state of Nevada the governor appoints. Even though we have a Republican governor now I think that's the way it should be so I don't support his legislation," Reid added.

Earlier in the day, the Constitution Subcommittee, which Feingold chairs, passed by a vote of 6-3-1 a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would require the direct election of all senators, including those filling vacancies.

The proposal states: "No person shall be a Senator from a State unless such person has been elected by the people thereof. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies."

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (Ill.) and Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Overnight Energy: SEC begins probing Exxon Senate Dems unveil new public option push for ObamaCare MORE (D-R.I.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnRyan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight The Trail 2016: Words matter Ex-Sen. Coburn: I won’t challenge Trump, I’ll vote for him MORE (R-Okla.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill MORE (R-S.C.) joined Feingold in voting for the amendment.

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override WH tried to stop Intel Dems' statement on Russian hacking: report MORE (D-Calif.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and John CornynJohn CornynHow the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill GOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override McConnell opens door to changing 9/11 bill MORE (R-Texas) opposed it.

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinHow the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill Senate Democrat calls on Mexico to step up search for missing students Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE (D-Md.) passed.

The issue splits Arizona's two Republican senators. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq MORE (R-Ariz.) is a cosponsor of the proposed amendment.  

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI probes possible hack of Dems' phones | Trump's '400-pound hacker' | Pressure builds on Yahoo | Poll trolls run wild MORE (D-Vt.) declined to say when or if he would schedule a full committee vote on Feingold's amendment. He said he would review the issue after the Senate votes to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.