Saturday, January 20, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 20, 2001

U.S. Senate: Is that sign of comity there?

Is that a glimmer of comity we see back there on Capitol Hill, where the Senate Republicans and Democrats have come to a historic power-sharing arrangement?

Let’s hope so. The politics of power and destruction has been allowed to run loose for far too long.

With the Senate split precisely 50-50, Republican leader Trent Lott and Democratic leader Tom Daschle have come up with an arrangement in which power and resources are split almost equally between the two camps.

Part of the agreement allows the leadership of either party to pull a bill or nomination out of committee if there is a deadlock, which could happen under this arrangement.

The greatest "give" in this deal came from the Republicans, who will have the upper, tie-breaking hand when the Senate convenes because Vice President Dick Cheney will tip the balance to the GOP in tie-breaking situations.

This underscores the point that while there is power-sharing, there is not complete sharing of responsibility. The Republicans remain ultimately in charge.

If the power sharing serves as a step back toward civility in Congress, it was a pragmatic step well worth taking.

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