Obama to resign Senate seat Sunday
President-elect Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will be resigning his senate seat effective Sunday.
The timing of his resignation means that he will miss next week’s Senate session that will deal with the economic crisis and a possible bail out for U.S. automakers, Reuters reports.
The Democrats will have a 50-49 majority in the senate, including the two independents who align with the party, after Obama’s departure.
Obama said that he was stepping down in order to focus on his transition to the White House, leaving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a democrat, responsible for choosing Obama’s replacement, Bloomberg said.
It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate," Obama said in a statement reported by Reuters.
Whoever is chosen to replace Obama would serve until 2010, which is when Obama’s term ends.
Bloomberg points to Jesse Jackson Jr., a seven-term congressman and son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as a possible replacement for Obama. Tammy Duckworth, the director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, and Jan Schakowsky, who also serves in the U.S. Congress.