DiFi and the Silly Season of Senate Committee Music Chairs

A little over an hour ago, there was some rather notable news tweeted out by CNN:

Intel cte’s @SenFeinstein will give up the chair and move to Judiciary, source tells @CapitolHillCNN. @SenatorReid to announce today

I have talked to both sources at both the Senate Judiciary Committee and Personnel offices and have yet to hear a denial. This is, then, significant news as to a complete reshuffling of key Majority Senate Leadership assuming it continues to bear out.

First off, a tenured Senator like Feinstein does not leave a high value Committee Chairmanship without another, or something higher, on the offer. CNN said she it is to “move to Judiciary”. But DiFi has long been a member of the SJC, that can only portend she will then become Chairman of Judiciary.

Ryan Grim at Huffington Post has also picked up this shuffle, and beat me to the punch by a few minutes:

If Feinstein does take over leadership of the Judiciary Committee, that could ease the passage in the Senate of a renewed assault weapons ban, which was passed under President Bill Clinton in 1994 but expired in 2004. The shooting rampage on Friday in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults were murdered by a gunman with a military-style assault weapon and high-capacity magazines, has renewed calls for stricter gun control legislation.

On Tuesday, speaking in the Capitol before the party’s weekly caucus lunch, Feinstein told reporters who had asked her whether she will jump to Judiciary, “Keep tuned. I think it is [going to become open], and I think it’ll happen.”

On Monday, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) who was the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, passed away at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Now that Inouye’s post is empty, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is rumored to be looking at taking over Appropriations — in turn opening up the leadership slot at Judiciary. Feinstein could then move from her current spot as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee to chair Judiciary.

That is good, fast reporting and coincides with what I can discern. And Appropriations Chair is a long time traditional home for the Senate Pro-Tem, which Pat Leahy became with yesterday’s passing of Inouye.

So, what about SSCI? Next in line would, by seniority, be Jay Rockefeller. But, as Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann pointed out, Rockefeller gave up leadership at Intel nearly three years ago to take over the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee helm, and there is no reason to think he would double back. That gave a brief glimmer of hope that Ron Wyden might get the nod at SSCI, but HuffPo’s Grim, in a tweet, thinks he is more likely to take over the helm of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for the outgoing Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, who did not seek reelection. That would mean the next senior Democrat on SSCI as Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Now, if I were Wyden, I would want the SSCI job over Energy. It is likely most progressives would like him there as well, which is why the smart money likely says Reid talks him into the Energy Chair.

So, we are into the Congressional equivalent of Formula One silly season; i.e. the end of the year shuffling of drivers before the season is really over. The one real wildcard here is Wyden.

Tweet about this on Twitter7Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook1Google+0Email to someone

15 Responses to DiFi and the Silly Season of Senate Committee Music Chairs

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @joshgerstein Of course, they were still SITTING on relevant data in the Moalin case, so they ought to be docked that one.
58sreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshgerstein True: Moalin, ACLU, and that Idaho one.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MiekeEoyang I misread that as "satirical" and you had me very confused.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel How to stop 36 NYPD cops from stop-and-frisking: raise 2 white flags. http://t.co/PRyWcJXiFP
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MissShumsky But that's 36 cops who won't be stop-and-frisking. @srubenfeld
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @MissShumsky: Great use of resources: "Nearly 3 dozen detectives assigned to white flag mystery" http://t.co/mxWDQgfhg0 via @nypost
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @sarahjeong HLS will make sure you're passed if only to avoid having embarrassment of having HLS' most amusing tweeter-grad fail. @Popehat
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer Hot as in temperature or hot as in awesome? You're making good time--are you stopping to have ANY fun?
7mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jaytingle You want some more-a Dora?
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @andreaprasow It's got to be VERY conservative bc so many are in Super.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @andreaprasow Oh, I know--was thinking of that when I used most conservative #. It'd be great to put $$s to the 500 CT cases.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ChadLivengood: Ballot initiative petitions OK'd for wolf hunting in #Michigan, in limbo for minimum wage http://t.co/EFWC8GaNVz
41mreplyretweetfavorite
December 2012
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031