Tags: Elections | Advance | President's | Agenda

Elections Advance President's Agenda

Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM

Though slim majorities, particularly in the Senate, preclude unilateral moves by either party, GOP control over committees and the flow of legislation on the floor will make it more difficult for Democrats to stand in the way.

The most immediate effect will be on the confirmation of Bush's nominations to the federal judiciary, because Senate Democrats will no longer be able to bury those nominations in committee.

Bush will also be more likely to roll his Democrat opponents on other issues such as the makeup of the new Department of Homeland Security.

"The president has been campaigning on war in Iraq, homeland security and judges. Republican control of the Senate means he will secure the things that most matter to him," said Kenneth R. Weinstein, vice president and director of the Hudson Institute's Washington office. "It will be more difficult to obstruct the president's agenda for the Democrats."

Homeland security, for example, has been put on ice because Senate Democrats disagree with Bush over how much control the White House will have over employees in the new department. GOP control of the Senate floor strengthens Bush's hand in that fight.

Democrats will now have to fight against Bush's judicial nominations on the Senate floor as well, or use extremely aggressive parliamentary moves to stall the nominations.

"It could change judicial nominations," said Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Democrats still have considerable sway at least in the Senate because it takes 60 votes to overcome serious opposition in that chamber. Democrats can use such procedural rules to delay or derail legislation they find seriously objectionable.

Democrats' gains among some of the governorships, however, could create the most serious problem for Bush's future political ambitions. Democrats were installed in the governorships of two key presidential battlegrounds: Pennsylvania and Michigan. Democrats there could make Bush's campaigning more difficult as Bush warms up for another run at the White House in 2004.

"I think the more important races are the governors," said Hess.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Though slim majorities, particularly in the Senate, preclude unilateral moves by either party, GOP control over committees and the flow of legislation on the floor will make it more difficult for Democrats to stand in the way. The most immediate effect will be on the...
Elections,Advance,President's,Agenda
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2002-00-06
Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM
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