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Republicans Already Moving To Replace Craig On Committees

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to tell reporters today that it was the right decision for Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) to say he would resign -- and he should stick to it, according to GOP leadership aides. 

And if Craig isn't getting the message from his leaders, Republicans plan to recommend today that all the committees Craig serves on move swiftly to replace him. GOP leadership aides say McConnell, at a Republican luncheon today, will instruct the Veterans Affairs, Appropriations and Energy panels to vote on Craig's replacements as soon as possible. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is expected to take Craig's top GOP slot on the Veterans Affairs Committee, but the other replacements have not yet been determined.

The swift moves show that Republicans are paying virtually no mind to the apparent waffling by Craig on whether he really will resign Sept. 30. There have been no Craig sightings in Washington this week, but Craig's high powered legal and public relations team has been at work trying to infuse some doubt into his guilty plea earlier this summer.

Craig's aides dropped the news last night that Craig just might reconsider, even after McConnell and other Republican leaders in Washington thought they had put the sex-sting scandal behind them.

The question now is what kind of pressure will be exerted on Craig to stick by his original statement -- or at least what others believed was his intent, which was to resign.

Meanwhile, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who perhaps did more than anybody else fuel the seasaw story, is done talking.

"At least for the time being, I have said all I intend to say publicly when I made my comments about Sen. Craig's situation on Fox News Sunday," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said this morning in statement issued by his aides. 

Specter told Fox News on Sunday that Craig still had the option to withdraw the guilty plea and salvage his Senate career.

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