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U.S. Senate moves toward center

Nov. 13, 2006 at 2:45 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Senate Democrats promising to use their electoral victories to work on a bipartisan basis may be forced to keep that promise by the slimness of their majority.

The Democrats' 51-49 majority includes Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman and independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who have said they will caucus with Democrats, and falls nine votes short of the 60 required to pass bills on issues including the war in Iraq and tax issues, the Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.

"Nothing can be accomplished in this town unless it's on a bipartisan basis," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada after a Friday meeting with President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

"The only way the American people will know if President Bush is sincere, the Democratic Congress is sincere, is with results. And we're willing to give it a try," he said.

The Christian Science Monitor also said many of the newly-elected Democrats ran as moderates or fiscal conservatives.

"They were carefully chosen not to reflect the liberal mainstream of the Democratic Party, but to reflect the more conservative mainstream of their states," said Rhodes Cook, a political analyst in Washington.

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