If you enjoy watching hearings on CSPAN, this is going to be a good month for you. There will be a lot of confirmation hearings, as well as hearings about the financial crisis and the stimulus package. In addition to those hearings, the Senate will have to decide whether or not to seat Roland Burris as Barack Obama’s replacement, and they may have to make the ultimate judgment about who won the Minnesota senate race. You’ll be seeing a lot of Teddy Kennedy, as his committee will oversee the appointment at Health (Tom Daschle) starting on January 8th, followed by the Education (Arne Duncan) and Labor (Hilda Solis) appointments.

Other Senate committees have also penciled in hearing dates. Dr. Steven Chu’s confirmation hearing to be Energy Secretary will be held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Jan. 13; Gen. Eric Shinseki will appear before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Jan. 14; and Senator Ken Salazar will also appear for consideration as the Secretary of the Interior before the Energy and Natural Resources panel on Jan. 15.

One of the most closely watched hearings will be that for Eric Holder Jr., who has been nominated to the post of attorney general. The Judiciary Committee has set Jan. 15 as the date for Mr. Holder’s hearing to begin.

So, if you have a popcorn maker get it cleaned up and ready to go. We’ll get a good sense of how the new power dynamics in Washington are going to affect the politics we’ve become familiar with. There will be some drama. And the House should be interesting, too. Nancy Pelosi is already playing hardball and I expect the Republicans to squeal like stuck pigs. Plus, we get to enjoy seeing a bunch of freshmen get their first action.

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