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Votes to decide Lieberman, Stevens fates

Nov. 12, 2008 at 9:56 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- When U.S. Senate leaders return to Washington next week there will be pressure to reprimand two senior members of the usually collegial chamber, officials say.

On the Republican side, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., plans to offer a motion to expel convicted felon incumbent Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska out of the Republican Conference, while there are calls on the Democratic side to punish Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., for campaigning against President-elect Barack Obama.

The Hill reported that the Democratic and Republican caucuses will meet next Tuesday to decide what will become of their respective caucus members.

The newspaper reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not yet taken a position on removing Stevens, who was convicted last month of seven felony counts for failing to report gifts from an oil contractor.

When it comes to Lieberman, Obama says he wants Lieberman to remain in the Democratic caucus. His spokesman said Obama has no position on whether Lieberman should remain chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

"We aren't going to referee decisions about who should or should not be a committee chair," said Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team.

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