Reid opposes effort to fill Senate vacancies by election

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidGOP frustrated by slow pace of Trump staffing This week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy? 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 GillibrandBill would require sexual assault, social media training for military recruits Dem senator: 'One of our closest allies' expressed concern about intelligence sharing Intel chief quiet on whether Trump asked him to deny Russia evidence MORE (N.Y.), Michael BennetMichael BennetSenators introduce lifetime lobbying ban for lawmakers Undocumented activist living in church gets stay of removal Overnight Regulation: Senate confirms SEC pick | House GOP passes 'comp time' bill | 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 DurbinSunday shows: Homeland Security chief hits the circuit after Manchester attack The Hill's 12:30 Report Top House, Senate Dems ask Interior not to eliminate national monuments MORE (Ill.) and Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes Senators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets GOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns MORE (D-R.I.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Tom CoburnTom Coburn'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress Freedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC MORE (R-Okla.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSunday shows: Homeland Security chief hits the circuit after Manchester attack Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Overnight Cybersecurity: Bad Russian intel may have swayed Comey's handling of Clinton probe | Apple sees spike in data requests | More subpoenas for Flynn | DOJ's plan for data warrants MORE (R-S.C.) joined Feingold in voting for the amendment.

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinThe case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Senate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee Feinstein: Comey memos 'going to be turned over' MORE (D-Calif.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and John CornynJohn CornynRepublicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Senate staff to draft health bill during recess MORE (R-Texas) opposed it.

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinSenate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer Worries mount about vacancies in Trump's State Department Pence marks Armed Forces Day with vow to rebuild military MORE (D-Md.) passed.

The issue splits Arizona's two Republican senators. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainArmed Services chairman unveils .1B Asia-Pacific security bill Overnight Defense: Trump scolds NATO allies over spending | Flurry of leaks worries allies | Senators rip B Army 'debacle' | Lawmakers demand hearing on Saudi arms deal The case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers MORE (R-Ariz.) is a cosponsor of the proposed amendment.  

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyTrump’s travel ban would not have prevented an attack like Manchester Lawmakers reintroduce measure to lift Cuba travel restrictions Majority of Senate supports Cuban tourism bill 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.