Dem 50
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Ties 1
GOP 49
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Senate Democrats Are Arguing about Rules and Power

The Republicans aren't the only party in town trying to figure out what's next. For the Democrats, the issues are different, however. One big one is power. Who knew? Specifically, with the Senate Democrats, a lot of power is concentrated at the top. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), for example, is not only #2 in the leadership, he is also chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are also members of the leadership who chair important committees.

Some senators, most notably Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), think that with 50 Democratic senators, they should divide the power up better and that members of the leadership should not also chair committees. One or the other. Members of the leadership aren't so keen on that. Durbin had some choice words for Whitehouse: "He did this two years ago to me. Now he's put Amy and Debbie in the boat with me."

This is one area where the Republicans are arguably more democratic than the Democrats. Republicans don't allow their caucus leaders to chair committees and also have term limits for all jobs except the top one (minority/majority leader). Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said: "I don't know that we want to become the Republican caucus, but I think it would make sense for us to give a little bit more thought to how we more evenly distribute power." (V)

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