Obama Vacates Senate Seat, Effective Sunday

Dem's absence, and Biden's, could effect stimulus plan during lame-duck session
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 3:02 PM CST
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich discusses his plans for filling President-elect Barack Obama's US Senate seat, Nov. 5, 2008 in Chicago.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President-elect Obama will resign from the Senate effective Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reports. Illinois state law makes Gov. Rod Blagojevich responsible for choosing Obama’s successor, but states no deadline on the appointment. That could be problematic, with a vote possible during Congress’ lame-duck session on pressing economic issues; the Senate is currently divided 49-49 between Republicans and Democrats.

Democrats want another stimulus package and an auto-industry bailout, but will be attempting to do so during next week’s session without the votes of either Obama or fellow senator and vice-president-elect Joe Biden. Whether or not a replacement is named for either, it’s highly unlikely he or she would be sworn in in time for the session, the New York Times adds.