Comment On 111th Congress Committee Membership

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009) – The Senate Wednesday night approved organizing resolutions establishing Committee memberships for the 111th Congress.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) reacted to the announcement that three Senators would become new members of the Committee.  The Committee will be comprised of 11 Democrats and eight Republicans.  Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will join the Committee.  Leaving the Judiciary Committee in the 111th Congress are Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who last year announced his intention to resign from the Committee in order to concentrate on health care reform, and former Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.,) who was sworn in as Vice President of the United States on Jan. 20, and Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

“I welcome the new members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Klobuchar, Senator Kaufman, and Senator Wyden are welcome additions to the Committee.  They have followed the Committee’s proceedings on the consideration of Eric Holder to be Attorney General, and they will be ready and able to participate in the Committee’s vote on his nomination next Wednesday.  I look forward to working with them during in the days and months ahead on the important work of the Committee.  We have often worked together in the past and I know each of them well. They will be outstanding members.

“I also note with some sadness that, for the first time in 46 years, the Judiciary Committee will not have Senator Kennedy among its members. He served on the Committee longer than any Senator in our Nation’s history. I look forward to his continued leadership on many of the issues.  The Committee will also be without another former Chairman, Senator Joe Biden.  He ably served on the Judiciary Committee for more than three decades.  We look forward to working with him in his new capacity as Vice President of the United States.”

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