Washington Senator Patty Murray, Senate Democrat MP 3, said in a statement issued last week that “a discussion is needed” on the issue. However, Durbin’s allies are quick to point out that Murray is both in a senior leadership position and a top Democrat on the Senate HELP committee. The issue is expected to be raised at the Democrats’ board meeting on Tuesday, and has already been discussed at smaller meetings.
The negotiations could lead to an electoral vote on their rules in the coming days. Unlike Senate Republicans, Democrats have no time limits on leadership positions, presidential positions, and the ranking of members.
Durbin and Whitehouse take a different approach to the race. While Durbin has publicly announced that he wants to run the judiciary, Whitehouse has simply stated that the board must make the decision and he will abide by their election.
Durbin’s adherents say the party’s chief teller already has the support to secure a judicial post and keep his whip job. But several progressive groups are urging Whitehouse, who is considered a more aggressive fighter on the committee.