Reid opposes effort to fill Senate vacancies by election

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOvernight Finance: Obama signs Puerto Rico bill | Trump steps up attacks on trade | Dodd-Frank backers cheer 'too big to fail' decision | New pressure to fill Ex-Im board Iowa poll: Clinton up 14 on Trump, Grassley in tight race with Dem Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case 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 GillibrandDems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary Former Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary Dems celebrate anniversary of gay marriage ruling MORE (N.Y.), Michael BennetMichael BennetCruz-backed candidate wins GOP primary in Colorado Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Ted Cruz chooses sides in Colorado Senate primary 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 DurbinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break MORE (Ill.) and Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseFree speech threatened in Democratic platform Week ahead: Reg advocates hitting back at GOP agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-R.I.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: I haven't seen 'self-discipline' from Trump McCain: No third-party foes coming for Trump Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump MORE (R-Okla.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Defense: US blames ISIS for Turkey attack | Afghan visas in spending bill | Army rolls up its sleeves Senate panel passes bill that would create 4K visas for Afghans Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office MORE (R-S.C.) joined Feingold in voting for the amendment.

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinUS reveals death toll from terror strikes outside war zones House to vote on NRA-backed gun measure Homeland Security Committee pushes encryption commission in new report MORE (D-Calif.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report House to vote on NRA-backed gun measure Attorney general says she will defer to FBI on Clinton emails MORE (R-Texas) opposed it.

Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinMcConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Dems take over floor to protest Senate inaction on gun control MORE (D-Md.) passed.

The issue splits Arizona's two Republican senators. Sen. John McCainJohn McCainWhich GOP pols will actually attend the convention? Trump bucks military on waterboarding Overnight Defense: Pentagon lifts transgender ban | Navy says Iran broke law by detaining sailors MORE (R-Ariz.) is a cosponsor of the proposed amendment.  

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: Obama signs FOIA reform bill | Musicians take YouTube fight to Europe | Feds probe first driverless car death Obama signs bill to expand access to federal records Dems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle 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.