Senate Democrats begin the new year with some loose ends, not the least of which is the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Leaders say that with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich facing corruption charges, they won't allow his choice -- Roland Burris -- to take office when the Senate convenes next week, though its not clear how they'll do that. Burris says he'll be in Washington to be sworn in but won't cause a scene if he's turned away.
The Minnesota Senate race remains undecided with challenger Al Franken holding a paper thin lead of a few dozen votes over incumbent Norm Coleman.
And governors in New York and Colorado must name replacements for Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ken Salazar, who will head the Departments of State and Interior in the new administration.