Senate Democrats say they will seat Roland Burris as an Illinois senator this week after earlier statements that his appointment had been tainted because he had been selected by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been impeached for abuse of power.
He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in a released statement.
Democrats had vowed to not accept Burris, 71, a former Illinois attorney general.
Burris said he was humbled and honored, according to Reuters.
Last Tuesday, Burris attempted to enter the Senate but was denied entry. The rejection was based on Burris' failure to receive an appointment certificate from the Illinois Secretary of State Jerry White. The secretary had been opposed to certifying the pick, citing the ongoing investigation into Blagojevich by prosecutors and the state legislative panel which eventually impeached the governor.
After a meeting with Reid and Durbin last week, Burris was upbeat about his chances of being seated as the next senator from Illinois.
A state judge ruled in Burris' favor last week, asserting that he did not have to have a certification from.
Burris also testified last week before the state investigative panel seeking to impeach Blagojevich that the he had not struck a deal with the governor.
The democratic senators also said they would not seek to have the Senate Rules and Administration Committee review Burris' appointment as they had previously suggested.