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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended November 17, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 19Nov00

By Kent Larsen

LDS Democrats Gain Power In Closely Split Congress

WASHINGTON, DC -- The nearly evenly split US Congress has increased the influence of Democratic LDS Church members serving in both houses, especially in the US Senate, where Nevada Senator Harry Reid will continue to serve as the second most powerful Democrat in the body.

The Senate is split almost evenly, and may end up with a 50-50 split, if both Washington State's Republican Senator Slade Gorton loses his still undecided reelection attempt, and George W. Bush wins the presidency. While Republicans would still remain in control of the Senate, it would only be with the vote of the vice president, Dick Cheney, in a Bush administration. In a Gore administration, Vice President Joseph Lieberman would have to give up his Senate seat, allowing Connecticut's Republican governor to choose a presumably Republican replacement, which would also give Republicans control of the Senate.

But regardless of the outcome, Senator Reid will remain one of the most powerful members of the Senate, and, along with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, he is telling fellow Senators that Democrats expect the nearly even split to be recognized. They say that the makeup of Senate committees should reflect the make up of the Senate -- 50-50 Republican to Democrat. And Reid says that the Democrats will use their newly-earned muscle to make it happen. "It's fairly simple," says Reid. "It takes a resolution to form committees in the Congress. And, of course, it goes without saying that that is something that doesn't happen with 51 votes. You have to have 60 votes."

Meanwhile, in the US House of Representatives newly elected congressman Jim Matheseon of Utah, also mormon, has already earned a spot among the leadership of the Democratic freshman class. Matheson will serve as the liason to the Republic freshman class in the House.


Democrats want equal role if Senate splits 50-50
Miami Herald (New York Times) 15Nov00 T2
By Lizette Alvarez: New York Times Service


107th Democratic Freshman Class Elects Leadership
USNewswire 15Nov00 T2


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