Though he is officially an Independent, he was part of the Democrat caucus, from whence he derives his seniority and committee assignments. There were a lot of Capitol Hill donkeys braying for his ouster. However, the Dems only had a one vote majority in the Senate, so they tolerated old Joe, and let him have his chairmanships according to his seniority.
You recall ... the reason Joe is an Independent is that the Dems dumped him in their 2006 primary election, only to have him return to the ballot on his own and trounce the anointed candidate.
With the coming of the new and bigger Dem majority, the knives were out again. This was to be their one chance to punish and ostracize the renegade.
Well ... not so fast, again. With the Dems approaching a veto-proof Senate, old Joe's vote could be critical. So, do the Senate jackasses throw him overboard and give more power to the Republicans to stop legislation by filibuster? Or, do they hold their noses, swallow their pride, bite the bullet -- and whatever else they need do -- and let the errant senator keep his seniority and chairmanships?
What to do? What go do?