Even as the outcome of the Alaska Senate race between Sen. Ted Stevens and Mark Begich seesaws, Senate Republican leaders are hinting that a vote to expel the senator convicted of making false statements on financial disclosure forms could come when the lame duck session opens on Tuesday.
A top Senate leadership aide said that a proposal to vote on the expulsion is before Senate leaders but that the back-and-forth nature of the extended vote counting—and concerns about rejecting the wishes of Alaska voters should Stevens win—may derail the vote.
The discussions among staffers laying out next week's agenda occurred before Begich took an 814-vote lead in the race that Stevens had been out front in. If that holds up, it would take voting off the table for the Senate.
As of Wednesday, it was a fifty-fifty proposition that the Stevens vote would come up. However, a public expulsion might be the way to show voters that the GOP means business when it comes to cleaning up its act, say Republican aides.
Top leaders have called on Stevens to resign, but he wants to stay in the Senate to appeal his conviction.
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