Senator Harry Reid becomes Democratic minority leader
Dec 14, 2004
Senate Democrats, whose party officially supports abortion rights, have elected an abortion opponent as their leader. And Senate Republicans, whose party officially opposes abortion, backed a rare prochoice senator as chair of one of the Senate’s most powerful committees—despite a clamor from the right.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid was chosen by Democrats as minority leader November 16 by acclamation. Reid, a Mormon, is a longtime foe of abortion rights who voted in favor of a 2003 law that bans so-called “partial-birth” abortions.
On the Republican side, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter quelled an uproar from social conservatives against his elevation to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee members unanimously endorsed Specter November 19 as their next chairman, a post he was expected to get under Senate seniority procedures.