Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is now third in line to the presidency. Leahy was elected Monday night as Senate president pro tem, succeeding Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who passed away.
Leahy was officially sworn in Tuesday morning as president pro tempore of the Senate. As the new leader of the Senate, Leahy is in line behind Vice President Biden and the speaker of the house in the line of succession for the presidency. More significantly, as the senior-most member of the Senate, Leahy is also in line to replace Inouye as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.