Tags: | Midterms | Senate | perks

Perks in Peril: Senate Control Not Only Thing Democrats May Lose

Monday, 03 Nov 2014 11:39 AM

Democrats are in for a rude awakening if Republicans take control of the Senate on Election Day as they face losing many of the perks they have become accustomed to.

The last time the GOP held power in the upper chamber was eight years ago, and only 17 Democrats who will likely serve in the coming Senate held those seats in 2006, according to The Hill.

"It will be a shock for Democrats to move into the minority," said Jim Manley, a former spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Democrats who were committee chairmen will be demoted to ranking members and will be forced to cut staff.

Even worse, some Democrats might have to pack up and move into smaller offices as the GOP takes control of handing out space.

"That's a major issue for many senior members," said Bill Hoagland, a former Republican budget staffer who is now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A Republican Senate will also mean that Democrats will have to show up more often on the floor in order to prevent GOP legislation having an easy passage, possibly using the old-fashioned method of a drawn-out talking filibuster just like Republicans have been employing, The Hill reported.

"To get attention, Democrats will have to spend more time on the floor," said Steve Smith, a political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis. "This isn't much fun.

"The partisanship and gridlock will continue, but with a change in party control the nuances of their everyday political rhetoric will change."

Smith noted that although Democratic leaders would attempt to maintain a strong voting bloc against the GOP agenda, some moderates who will be up for re-election in 2016 might break ranks.

"Democrats will try to keep their party disciplined in their opposition to the Republicans, but they will be disappointed from time to time that a handful of Democrats are willing to play ball with the Republicans, who will be dealing with them to acquire votes for cloture," Smith said.

But the good news for the Democrats is that Republicans might not enjoy their possible superiority for very long, with 24 Republican senators up for re-election in 2016 compared to just 10 Democrats — a margin that may prove impossible to overcome.

"The feeling for Democrats is, suck it up for two years and then come roaring back," said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University.

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Democrats are in for a rude awakening if Republicans take control of the Senate on Election Day as they face losing many of the perks they have become accustomed to.
Midterms, Senate, perks
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2014-39-03
Monday, 03 Nov 2014 11:39 AM
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