Burris Heads to Washington as Tensions Soar

Blago appointee to meet with Reid and Durbin Wednesday
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 5, 2009 12:18 PM CST

(Newser) – Roland Burris heads to Washington today to claim Barack Obama’s old Senate seat, which he says is rightfully his, though he tells USA Today that he won't sully his reputation by making a "scene" if he meets opposition. Last night, the former Illinois AG spoke at a prayer service organized by Rep. Bobby Rush, who has accused Dems of opposing Burris for racial reasons, the Chicago Tribune says. “I am now the junior senator from the state of Illinois,” Burris told hundreds of supporters.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stopped short of saying definitively that Burris wouldn’t be seated. “We're going to do what we have to do,” he said in TV interviews yesterday. Reid denied Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s assertion that the senator was opposed to black contenders for the seat, calling it "part of the Blagojevich spin to take away from the corruption that's involved in his office.” Reid will meet Wednesday with Burris and Ill. Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Democrats' No. 2  leader.