No Senate Democrats, Doug Jones Can't Be Seated Immediately & Here Is Why | NTK Network No Senate Democrats, Doug Jones Can’t Be Seated Immediately & Here Is Why

No Senate Democrats, Doug Jones Can’t Be Seated Immediately & Here Is Why

Sen. McConnell will not be able to seat Doug Jones until Alabama's secretary of state's office certifies the election, which might take until 2018.

By NTK Staff | 12.13.2017 @11:00am
No Senate Democrats, Doug Jones Can’t Be Seated Immediately & Here Is Why

Senate Democrats are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to seat Senator-elect Doug Jones (D-AL) immediately so he can vote against the GOP tax bill. The problem for those Democrats is that it’s not McConnell’s decision to make.

Jones, who defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election Tuesday night to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, might not get seated in the Senate until January 3, 2018.

With the Senate expected to vote on the GOP tax reform plan by December 22 or earlier, it seems that the current 52-48 majority Republicans have in the Senate will hold until after that vote.

Democrats, who likely know better, are calling on McConnell to seat Jones immediately, but there is nothing McConnell can do until Alabama’s secretary of state’s office certifies the election.

The 67 counties in Alabama have until December 22 to report their results to the Alabama secretary of state’s office.

Once those results have been received, the state canvassing board, “which includes the governor, secretary of state and attorney general — will have until January 3 to certify them.”

According to Alabama law, at least two of the three members of the state canvassing board need to be present for the certification.

CNN reported before the election that the secretary of state’s office expected “to certify the results between December 27-29.”

The secretary of state’s office noted, however, that this “is contingent upon every county reporting their results on time. The office noted that a delay from one of the 67 counties could delay final certification.”

Also, Senate Democrats shouldn’t be outraged at Senate Republicans by the length of time it will take for Jones to be seated in the United States Senate, as it’s consistent with the length of time it took other senators who won special elections to be seated.

It took 16 days from Election Day to swearing-in for former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to be seated. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) had to wait 15 days to be sworn in, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) had to wait 21 days.

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