Stevens Avoids GOP Ejection… For Now

Nov 18, 2008 10:39am

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: Convicted felon Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, faced a vote by his colleagues this morning to kick him out of the Senate Republican conference, of which he is the senior member.

While that secret ballot vote would probably have passed in the closed-door meeting, most Republicans didn’t want to have to take the vote, especially with Stevens’ chances of re-election dimming.

So, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who is already on his colleagues’ bad boy list for making senators stay late on a Friday earlier this year, only to skip the vote himself, had planned to call for the vote. While it would have passed, it was unclear he would have gotten a second to actually hold the vote.

In a statement this morning, DeMint said he will wait until the Alaska election is over (counting finishes tonight) to call for Uncle Ted, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, to be booted from the conference.

DeMint said in his statement: "After talking with many of my colleagues, it’s clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution regarding Senator Stevens. The question now is timing. Some who support the resolution believe we should address this after the results of his election are confirmed in Alaska. For this reason, I will ask the conference to postpone the vote on Senator Stevens until Thursday."

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