Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) is fully embracing his new party this week, working behind the scenes to bring back a union-organizing bill and publicly defending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the waterboarding controversy.
It’s been three weeks since Specter’s defection from the GOP, and while he initially raised some eyebrows among his new colleagues by voting against President Obama’s budget, he is now showing he can be a team player on two of the most controversial topics facing this Congress.
By Alexander Bolton and Reid Wilson
He is in the midst of intense negotiations with labor unions and key Democrats to revive the Employee Free Choice Act, a major priority for liberal Democrats and organized labor.
And on Wednesday, Specter stood by Pelosi, who has come under heavy fire from the GOP for accusing the CIA of lying to Congress during the Bush administration about tactics used on detainees.
“The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to — I was about to say ‘candid’; that’s too mild — to honesty.”
From The National Law Journal
The former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that President Barack Obama had asked him to name some possible successors to Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. And Arlen Specter, D-Pa., said he has complied, though in speaking with reporters he would only hint at the people he suggested.
“I submitted four names — all women, and none who owns a black robe,” Specter said after a speech to the American Law Institute at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel.
He did not elaborate on whom he recommended. There are three female non-judges among those reported to be on Obama’s short list: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.