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Franken, Biden Meet In Washington

Vice President Joe Biden met today in Washington with Democrat Al Franken, who has been declared the victor in the seemingly-never-ending Minnesota Senate race pending Norm Coleman's appeals.

In a statement following the meeting, the vice president pushed for Franken to be seated as soon as the Minnesota Supreme Court rules. The Democrat was declared the narrow winner of the race by a three judge panel following a statewide recount.

"Once the Minnesota Supreme Court has issued its final ruling in this case, the President and I look forward to working with Mr. Franken on building an economy for the 21st century," he said.

"The election process and recount in Minnesota have lived up to the state's reputation for organization, transparency, and bipartisanship," Biden added. "The officials have been meticulous and every ruling has been unanimous."

That's a very different tone than that struck by national Republicans, who have raised money for Coleman's continuing legal battle. They have also suggested that the votes of all Minnesotans have not been counted. If seated, Franken would be the 60th member of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, giving the party a filibuster-proof majority.

In his statement, Franken said he "deeply appreciate[s] the administration's ongoing support." The Associated Press reports that Franken said he gave Biden an update on the Senate battle and talked about the administration's goals.

If the court rules in Franken's favor, as is expected, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican with national political ambitions, must decide whether or not to certify Franken's victory. Republicans have said they are prepared to back Coleman appeals to the United States Supreme Court.