Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is apparently getting a little impatient with West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who has yet to appoint a Democrat to take the place of the late Sen. Robert Byrd.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is holding down the fort as Senate’s lone Mountain State lawmaker, said Reid wants Manchin to get moving on the appointment.
“The White House may be putting pressure on him, I don’t know,” Rockefeller told the Washington Examiner. “But I know the leader is.”
While Democrats managed to round up three Republicans to help them pass a sweeping financial regulatory reform bill, other legislation has stalled, including an unemployment benefits extension that fell one vote short of passage earlier this month.
Rockefeller said he has also asked Manchin to move faster.
“I’d like to have someone up here tomorrow,” he said.
But he also defended Manchin, who has put off picking a placeholder until he can secure approval from the state legislature to hold a special election in November to fill the remaining two years of Byrd’s term. Manchin plans to run for the seat.
Rockefeller said the state’s laws regarding succession are ambiguous and being questioned by state government lawyers.
“My guess is we will have somebody up on Friday of this week,” Rockefeller said. “I just put pressure on him to get someone up here.”