Kirk Seeks Quick Transition Into Senate
CHICAGO (WBBM) — Now that the election is over, Sen.-elect Mark Kirk wants to make a quick transition.
The transition may not be quick enough for Kirk to serve during the entire lame-duck session of Congress. The Illinois State Board of Elections does not have to certify Tuesday’s results until Nov. 23.
“We don’t exactly know when we’ll be sworn in,” Kirk said. “My hope is as soon as possible because there’s no debate in this election now. We’ve had a clear victor.”
The lame duck session will begin Nov. 15, run for a week before Thanksgiving, and resume for another two weeks afterward.
Because of court rulings relating to the way Burris was named to the seat by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Kirk is the only new member of Congress to be seated immediately; the others won’t be sworn in until January.
That means that, with the exception of Kirk, the Democrats will retain their sizable majorities in both houses of Congress throughout the veto session.
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Kirk said that spokesman Eric Elk will head the Illinois aspects of his transition team. His congressional chief of staff, Lester Munson, will head the transition team in Washington.
He already has said that he will vote against Obama administration budget proposals, and will fight to keep in place the Bush-era tax cuts, scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.
Kirk said he watched all of President Obama’s news conference Wednesday and said he believes that the President “got the message” from voters.
Kirk said that the smartest action Obama could take right now is to spend a weekend at Camp David with the presumptive House Speaker, John Boehner (R-Ohio), to discuss the issues.
“That would really help the country out quite a bit,” Kirk said.