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GOP unity in Congress frays

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Lindsay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:32 PM
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GOP unity in Congress frays
WASHINGTON For most of the 108th Congress, Republicans have held ranks with President Bush, especially on the issues he cared most about: tax cuts and the war.

But suddenly, Democrats are finding unexpected openings in that GOP line on issues that usually don't usually engage members of Congress: new administration regulations.

In a vote expected Tuesday, the Senate - with GOP help - is expected to brave a presidential veto to block new FCC rules on broadcast ownership. Last week, six Republicans voted with Democrats to block a change in how the Department of Labor regulates overtime, also in the face of a presidential veto threat. Justice Department proposals to extend the reach of the USA Patriot Act could prompt similar defections.

"As election day gets closer, the firm control that the White House has exerted over Republicans in Congress is going to slacken," says Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
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