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Murray could move up in Senate shuffle

Murray could move up in Senate shuffle


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Patty Murray of Washington could be in line for a promotion after Tuesday's election, which expanded the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Murray, a three-term Democrat, could end up being chairwoman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee if party leaders demote Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. But he could be stripped of the title by Democrats angry at his support of Republican John McCain in the presidential race.

Lieberman's status was in question after a meeting Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said afterward that no decisions have been made.

But an aide to the Nevada Democrat said Reid was leaning toward removing Lieberman. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential.

"While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus," Reid said in a statement.

If Lieberman is removed, the Homeland gavel could go to Sen. Daniel Akaka, of Hawaii, who in turn would give up the top job at Veterans' Affairs. Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, who also serves as Intelligence Committee chairman, is expected to pass up the veterans' post and let it go to Murray.

A spokesman for Murray declined to comment Thursday.

If she got the promotion, Murray would be the first woman to head the veterans' committee and only the second nonveteran to hold the post.

Murray, whose father fought in World War II, has been an outspoken advocate for veterans and a sharp critic of the Bush administration. She received an A+ grade last month from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a nonpartisan advocacy group. The group cited her work on issues such as veterans' health care, the new GI Bill, mental health and support for homeless veterans.

Re: Murray could move up in Senate shuffle

Excellent!! IMO she would be the best choice for that job. She has fought long and hard for Veterans.

Re: Murray could move up in Senate shuffle

Yes Murry is a Fighter and not afraid to step on Toes.

Dan Akaka is alright, Much better than Larry Craig was but Akaka to me really isn't the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer.

Murry would be a much better Replacement.....