That could be a key post in the early part of the new Congress. Majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid has signaled he may try to reform Senate rules. Reid is trying to change the rules so one Senator cannot tie up debate on a bill. The prerogatives of a single Senator are one of the long-established tradition in the US Senate.
“As ranking member,” Roberts said, “I will vigorously defend minority rights in the Senate as debate begins on rules for the 113th Congress. The Majority Leader has already threatened to resort to the nuclear option and destroy critical checks and balances in the Senate. Senate institutional rules must not be broken merely to suit the party in power.”
The entire Senate Republican Caucus is expected to ratify Roberts’ post later this month.
Roberts lost the ranking Member post on the Ag Committee this week, when Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran used his seniority to bump Roberts out of that post (see previous post).
Roberts remains on the Ag Committee.
He is also a member of the Senate Finance and Ethics panels.
The Rules Committee works on campaign reform and election legislation as well as administrating Senate rules.
He held a similar position in the House when he was a member there before being elected to the Senate.