The Senate After Kennedy

Although Congress is in recess, many members of the Senate will, of course, be attending Ted Kennedy's funeral in Boston. When they reconvene in Washington after Labor Day, Kennedy's passing will have a number of important practical ramifications in addition to the symbolic ones so much in discussion today. These will impact many of the big policy decisions coming this fall. While nothing is formal yet, Senate insiders expect something like the following scenario to occur. Chris Dodd, currently the chairman of the Banking Committee, would succeed Kennedy as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, an instrumental position in the health care fight and a move that would formalize what has for some time been an informal arrangement. Dodd and Max Baucus, who would remain Finance Committee chairman, would become the key Senate figures on health care. Tim Johnson is next in line to replace Dodd atop the Banking Committee, an important spot for obvious economic reasons and also because the Senate is expected to take up financial services regulation early next year. But Johnson has suffered health problems of his own, so the chairmanship may go to Jack Reed, a low-profile figure who is well thought of by colleagues and fluent in matters of finance (a rare trait among Democrats). Even if Johnson assumes the chairmanship, Reed is expected to play a much larger role.

Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In