POLITICS
02/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Senate GOP Assumes Franken Beat Coleman

Republican leadership in the Senate has agreed to a plan for committee assignments that assumes Al Franken will emerge as the winner of the Minnesota Senate race.

The resolution reached on Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would give Democrats in the Senate a three-seat advantage on most committees in the upcoming Congress -- up from the one-seat advantage they held in the last session.

In the process of reaching this proposal, moreover, GOP leadership agreed to operate off the assumption that former Sen. Norm Coleman would lose his reelection bid. This concession may prove to be simply a symbolic victory for Franken, who has petitioned the Senate and sued his own governor to sign a certificate finalizing his election. As an aide to McConnell told the Huffington Post, the committee breakdowns are "provisional at this point ... the ratios can change."

Nevertheless, it shows that despite proclamations of support of Coleman's legal appeals of the election results, Republican officials in Washington aren't unaware of reality. Franken currently enjoys a 225-vote lead after Minnesota conducted a lengthy recount process. The state canvassing board declared this margin official, but the Minnesota Republican has appealed the results, citing, among other things, the possibility that some ballots where counted twice.