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As of noon today, Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman isn't a sitting Senator

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UPDATE @ 2:40 PM: The Secretary of State's office (Elections Division) is going to count the remaining absentee ballots this afternoon -- there are approximately 950. You can watch live at After this, the Coleman lawsuits begin.

Yesterday, I wrote about the ongoing dramas in the U.S. Senate. The Republicans are threatening to filibuster the seating of Al Franken, even if he's certified as the winner in the Minnesota Senate race next week. But, as of noon today, when the 110th session of Congress ends, Minnesota doesn't have a Senator. Norm Coleman's term is over:

When the 111th Congress convenes on Tuesday, Norm Coleman may be out of an office, even though his Senate race remains far from settled.

Coleman’s first term officially expires at noon on Saturday, and he is locked in one of the closest Senate races in history, with Democrat Al Franken clinging to a 49-vote lead out of nearly 3 million votes cast.

Since he has not been certified a winner in the race, Coleman may have to give up his privileges as a senator, including his desk on the floor, his personal office and his right to vote on legislation, according to Democratic aides familiar with the rules.
The GOP Senators are playing hard ball over Franken. Would that the Senate Democrats would do the same thing:
It is possible, however, that all of Coleman's privileges may remain intact should the two parties reach an accommodation, and aides signaled that talks were occurring on the matter through Friday.
Given the track record of the Senate Democrats, Coleman will end up not only with his privileges intact, he'll get a bigger office, better committee assignments and more staff. After all, Joe Lieberman campaigned for Norm Coleman's re-election.

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