Leahy holds out hope for Biden victory, 50-50 Senate split
WASHINGTON (WCAX) - The country’s most senior senator wasn’t on the ballot this year but the presidential race and Senate races elsewhere in the country will have a dramatic impact on his influence.
Our Washington reporter Kyle Midura connected with Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy Thursday to get his reaction to the elections here in Vermont and across the nation.
Sen. Patrick Leahy: I like what Joe Biden has said, if he’s president, he’s going to be president for the whole country.
Kyle Midura: Do you think it is tilting his direction?
Sen. Leahy: I think it is tilting his direction, obviously I hope it is, because I think he is somebody who can start bringing a sharply divided country together.
Kyle Midura: It does look like in the Senate, when you come back in January, you will be in the minority once again. Can a Joe Biden agenda get through a Republican Senate, even if it is narrowly in power?
Sen. Leahy: Yes, it can because he’ll have both the House and Democrats in the Senate. He knows how to negotiate with both sides. I think he can, he’ll have to. And I’m not convinced we’re going to be in the minority. We could have 50-50. Whichever way it goes I’ll hold one of the couple most powerful positions, and that’s going to be good for Vermont.
Kyle Midura: Finally, sir, it’s been reported that Sen. Sanders is interested in becoming part of potential president Biden’s cabinet, labor secretary specifically. Marcelle has said it’s about time that Vermont says a woman to Washington. Would you like to see Governor Scott pick a woman if indeed all of that comes to pass?
Sen. Leahy: Is he qualified to be secretary of labor, of course, he is. But a lot of it is going to be a political decision. Governor Scott will be under heavy pressure to pick a republican. I don’t think a president Biden is going to risk a Senate majority for that.
Kyle Midura: Governor Scott has said he would pick an independent who would caucus with the Democrats and would not be interested in holding the seat long term. Do you take him at his word?
Sen. Leahy: I’ve always taken him at his word, but I think that that may be hard to do. And I’m not going to speculate on things that we really don’t know are going to happen. Let’s see who gets elected president, we’re still on pins and needles.
And Sen. Leahy did mention one name when it came to a Vermont woman who could one day represent Vermont in the nation’s capitol: Lt. Gov. Elect Molly Gray.
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