Gov. Deval Patrick said Friday that President Barack Obama had personally talked to him about changing the Senate succession law in Massachusetts, and White House aides were pushing for him to gain the power to temporarily replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy amid the administration's health care push.
A month after a White House spokesman labeled the issue a state matter, Patrick said he and Obama spoke about changing the law as they both attended Kennedy's funeral in Boston last month. He also said White House aides have been in contact frequently ever since and pushing for the change so they can regain their filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.
"He and his whole team have been very clear about that," Patrick told reporters after holding a Cabinet meeting near his Berkshire Mountains vacation home.
"It's out there that the Senate president and the (House) speaker are tyring to figure out whether this can be accomplished, and he fully understands, as do his aides, who I have talked to more about it, the importance of having the support for a change agenda down in Washington," Patrick added.
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