REAL HISTORY IS STILL NEWS TO SENATE WIMPS | 2001-03-31
Senator Pete Dominici is Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. He is complaining that one of the major roadblocks to the Republican tax cut is the fact that his committee has the same number of Republicans and Democrats. He can't get the support of a single Democrat, and that allows them to block action.
Commenting on the pardon hearings, Senator Spectre said he was largely crippled by his inability to issue subpoenas. This is because he needs a majority of his committee to vote for a subpoena, and half the committee members are now Democrats. Trent Lott set it up that way.
Lott calls it "power sharing" with the Democrats, which is just what the liberal media asked for.
To back their "power sharing" demand, the media claimed that "the Senate has not been this evenly divided in one hundred and thirty years." Lott is a respectable conservative, which means he has no memory, so he went right along with this.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, this exact same thing happened in 1953. The Senate was split 48-48, and Vice President Nixon voted with the majority Republicans. Back then Republicans did what the Democrats would have done in the same situation. Each committee had one more Republican on it than Democrats, because Republicans were the majority party in the Senate.
If you cannot get a majority in a committee, that fact can be used to delay and kill a lot of legislation. So whether Lott's new precedent is just wimpishness or ignorance or both, it will be very costly for at least the next two years.
But the fact remains that Republicans have the majority, since the vice president is a Republican. Believe me, if the Senate were split fifty-fifty and the Democrats had the vice presidency, the media wouldn't be pushing "power sharing." And no Democrat would fall for it if they did.