Reid opposes effort to fill Senate vacancies by election

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSeven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary Senate buzzsaw awaits 2020 progressive proposals Sanders courts GOP voters with 'Medicare for All' plan 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 Elizabeth GillibrandBiden to face pressure on Medicare for All Gillibrand 'not worried' about being 'discounted' in 2020 race Cory Booker releases 10 years of tax returns MORE (N.Y.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetMichael Bennet declared cancer-free, paving way for possible 2020 run License to discriminate: Religious exemption laws are trampling rights in rural America Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (Colo.), Ted Kaufman (Del.) and Roland Burris (Ill.).
ADVERTISEMENT

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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks McConnell: 'Past time' for immigration-border security deal MORE (Ill.) and Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Senators press drug industry 'middlemen' over high prices MORE (D-R.I.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublican senators request briefing on DOJ 'spying' probe Graham says Senate should vote on Sanders prisoner voting idea Barr to testify before Senate panel next week on Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.) joined Feingold in voting for the amendment.

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden says he will run for president in 2020: 'We have to remember who we are' Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary Dems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions MORE (D-Calif.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and John CornynJohn CornynOn The Money: Fed pick Moore says he will drop out if he becomes a 'political problem' | Trump vows to fight 'all the subpoenas' | Deutsche Bank reportedly turning Trump records over to NY officials | Average tax refund down 2 percent Kushner saying immigration plan will be 'neutral' on legal admissions: report Cornyn campaign, Patton Oswalt trade jabs over comedian's support for Senate candidate MORE (R-Texas) opposed it.

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Senate Dem: Trump 'using immigrants as pawns' Bottom Line MORE (D-Md.) passed.

The issue splits Arizona's two Republican senators. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump: McCain 'did the nation a tremendous disservice' with ObamaCare vote NBC's Kelly O'Donnell tears up over video celebrating 25 years at network Biden to appear on 'The View' for first interview on 2020 bid MORE (R-Ariz.) is a cosponsor of the proposed amendment.  

Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySanders, Klobuchar among five most popular senators: poll Durbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall 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.