Hatch, Lugar contend over senior GOP senator spot

Hatch, Lugar contend over senior GOP senator spot

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Who is the most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate? A flap is brewing between Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. Both say they're in the No. 1 spot.

According to the Deseret News, it's an issue because if the Republicans ever hold a majority in the Senate again, the most senior Republican would be Senate president pro tempore. That means they would be third in line to the presidency behind the vice president and speaker of the House.

The Washington Post ran a political quiz this week asking readers to identify the most senior Republican senator. It said the answer was Lugar, but Hatch's office asked for a correction.

The Deseret News says both senators were sworn into office on the same day. There are several tie breakers, such as previous service in the Cabinet, Senate and House, but Hatch and Lugar are equal on all of those, except the last one. They disagree on what that is.

Lugar says it's home state population. Hatch says it's whose name comes first alphabetically.

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