Democrats pushing the envelope

April 2, 2007 at 6:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- Congressional Democrats are pushing up against U.S. President Bush on several fronts as they try to reshape the nation's approach on a number of major issues.

Democrats would appear to be on solid footing on such issues as immigration, healthcare and Social Security, but even stalwarts such as Leon Panetta, a top aide for former President Bill Clinton, recommends caution heading into areas such as unionization of airport security workers and rolling back provisions of the Patriot Act, The Washington Post reported Monday.

"If they go into total confrontation mode on these other things, where they just pass bills and the president vetoes them, that's a recipe for losing seats in the next election," Panetta said.

Bush has only vetoed one bill so far but has threatened to kill 16 bills the Democrats have put forth this year.

"I suppose there's always a risk of going too far," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., "but the risk of not going is far greater."

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Democrats could pay a "political price" at the polls if they go "past the point where the American people are comfortable."

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