GOP Senate Conference rule changes
After the elections and when the GOP Senate Conference meets to choose its leaders and whatnot, they will look at two potential changes in the conference rules designed to force a little more loyalty, The Hill newspaper reports:
One proposed option would give the leader [presumably Bill Frist of Tennessee] authority to appoint half of GOP assignments to powerful “A” committees. According to a memo distributed by conference Chairman Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) to Republican senators, the leader would appoint half the slots plus one if there were an odd number of GOP committee slots.John McCain, who is wont to vote with the Democrats on some issues, says he does not "like" the proposed rule changes, while GOP Mod Squadders like Linc Chafee and Susie Collins can't be too happy, either.
Another option would give the leader the power to appoint two members to each “A” committee. Once a member appointed by the leader gained seniority on the panel through length of service, or if that member left the panel, a new “leader-appointed slot” would become available, according to the Santorum memo.
The first proposed change, where Frist would appoint half the GOP committee members, would serve conservatives well on Senate Judiciary, where pro-abort Mod Squadder Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania looks to be the next chairman. A slate of solid conservatives serving beneath him might take the sting out of some of his more odious ideas.