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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GOP may strip Leezza Moorkowzky* of committee slot (*for write-in purposes)

Senate Republicans plan to vote this week on whether to strip Sen. Lisa Murkowski of her top slot on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, a move that would undermine her bid to run as a write-in candidate in the fall elections.

Senators appear likely to name in her place a different ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee between now and the November elections, sources said. And they could also replace her in Senate Republican leadership. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) would be next in line as the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the issue will be resolved at a special conference Wednesday afternoon.

After discussing the issue at a Tuesday morning meeting, Republican leaders concluded it made sense to send a clear message that Murkowski would be no more powerful than a freshman if voters send her back to the Senate. Later the issue was discussed at a Tuesday lunch, and senators said a vote by committee Republicans will come tomorrow.

The decision is a striking turn of events for Murkowski, a one-time rising GOP star who lost her party's primary and defied Republican wishes by running as a write-in candidate. She's already lost her leadership position of vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference. (Full story at POLITICO)

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