Massachusetts moves closer to filling Kennedy seat

The state Senate is scheduled to take up a bill providing for an interim appointment

Published September 21, 2009 8:10PM (EDT)

Massachusetts could be back to having two senators very soon. Last week, the state House passed a bill that would allow Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, to appoint an interim successor to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy until a special election is held early next year. Now, the state Senate is ready to take up the legislation.

Republicans, who are a small minority in the Massachusetts Senate, had been using a delaying tactic to keep the bill from coming to the floor for a debate. Now, though, they seem ready to concede.

“I don’t know that there’s a lot to be gained by continuing to delay just to delay it. That’s not what we’re about. We’re trying to give people time to weigh in. We got the weekend out of it," Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei said, according to the Boston Globe.

The delaying tactic the GOP has been using is traditionally only allowed three times; Republicans have used it twice. But, the Globe reports, they probably won't bother to try it again on Tuesday. Instead, they'll allow debate. From there, it probably won't be long until a vote, and then Patrick will move quickly to appoint a new senator.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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