Lieberman could pay price for supporting McCain
Capitol Hill watchers are widely predicting that Sen. Joseph Lieberman will lose his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after backing Republican Sen. John McCain instead of Barack Obama in the presidential race.
Democrats are upset by the extent to which Lieberman publicly campaigned for McCain. Lieberman is a former Democrat who switched to independent in 2006 after losing a primary election in Connecticut and ended up retaining his seat.
The former running mate of Vice President Al Gore in 2000 spoke at the Republican Convention on McCain’s behalf and on the stump, where he often disparaged Obama’s lack of experience.
Analysts say the Democrats, now with a strong majority of at least 56 seats, need Lieberman’s vote less than in the past. He likely will be allowed to still caucus with the Democrats.
Homeland Security is one of the primary committees with oversight responsibility over agencies such as Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration.
Three Senate seats are still up for grabs because election results Tuesday are too close to call. Even if the Democrats win all the seats they likely will fall short of the 60-seat majority needed to break minority filibusters designed to freeze controversial votes. ' Eric Kulisch