After weeks of deliberation about former Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, congressional leaders from his former party came to some conclusions Tuesday about his political future. Lieberman will retain his position as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee but won’t be keeping his subcommittee post on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The New York Times:

And in the way of an apology, he said: “Some of the statements, some of the things that people have said I said about Senator Obama, are simply not true. There are other statements that I made that I wish I had made more clearly, and there are some that I made that I wish I had not made at all. And obviously in the heat of campaigns, that happens to all of us, but I regret that and now it’s time to move on.”

While the resolution adopted by the Democratic caucus called for “a spirit of reconciliation” and deplored the “extreme partisan environment” created, in Democrats’ eyes, by President Bush, the debate was driven by a blend of personal feelings and political calculation.

Democrats have had a 51-to-49 advantage in the Senate because Mr. Lieberman and another independent, Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, caucus with them. But Democrats picked up at least six seats in the elections, with three contests are still undecided. If the Democrats triumph in all three, they will have the 60-to-40 majority needed to defeat debate-stalling filibusters — provided that Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Sanders continue to caucus with them.

“I think we did what was appropriate,” Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said.

Before the meeting, Mr. Lieberman said he was optimistic. “I’m going into a roomful of friends,” he told The Associated Press.

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