GOP not complaining about Minnesota's empty seat
|Photo by by Dan Corrigan for City Pages|
There is no concerted effort to keep the recount going in order to deny Franken a seat, according to GOP aides, but it does have side benefits.
"If Franken was going to vote on the stimulus package, they wouldn't necessarily need one of the Republicans. So yeah, it matters," said Ron Bonjean, a former top aide to several Senate Republicans who now operates his own public-relations firm. Democrats brokered a deal with three centrist Republican senators in order to end debate on the stimulus package.
"It's better for us to have one less member," said a top GOP leadership aide, though the aide acknowledged of Franken: "He's got a very good shot at winning."
"The Republicans have clearly, largely speaking, as a body, come to the conclusion that continuing to impede the agenda is their way to be meaningful in some way," said Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "If that's what they're going to do, then a lot of legislation will be affected by how many votes we have."