Daschle: Voters Want A Move To Center
By Louise Schiavone/CNN
WASHINGTON (Nov. 20) -- Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) returns after the elections facing another Congress as head of the minority in the Senate.
But Daschle told reporters that five Senate seats went to Republicans with margins of fewer than 150,000 votes. So, while Republicans have expanded their hold on the Senate -- the margin is now 55 to 45 -- Daschle believes the election numbers are a message that voters want Congress to move to the political center.
At the same time, Daschle warned that Democrats remain poised to filibuster "extremist" legislation, noting that it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. In reality, it takes a simple majority to pass legislation but 60 votes to break a filibuster.
"We can either legislate or recriminate," Daschle said.
With respect to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Daschle said that Democrats want to help Gingrich be "a different speaker" and that there was no need for bitter confrontation. (256K WAV sound)
Daschle called on Congress to address campaign finance reform in the first 60 days of the new session, so that new laws can apply to the next voting cycle. Asked about expected investigations of Democratic party fund-raising, Daschle said such probes should include "all giving" and he would insist they include an objective analysis of campaign finances, covering both Democrats and Republicans. Daschle said he would object to any investigation focusing narrowly on Democratic fund-raiser John Huang.
AllPolitics home page
Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved