WASHINGTON (AP) - Eager to put the scandal-tainted standoff behind them, Senate Democrats accepted Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama's Senate successor on Monday and said they expect to swear in the new Illinois senator this week.
"He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in a joint statement after Senate lawyers determined that Burris' paperwork met Senate requirements to be seated.
The two senators said they expect Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, to be sworn in and seated this week, barring objections from Republicans.
The announcement is a major reversal for Senate Democrats. They initially balked at the surprise appointment by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused by federal investigators of seeking to
trade the Senate seat for personal favors, amid fears that any appointee would be tainted.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)