With Republican control in Congress and White House, bipartisanship is important for getting things done

National Public Radio
Thursday, November 4, 2004

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: Starting next year, Republicans will control Congress and the White House to a degree that they have not since the days of presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. To many of their lobbyist allies in Washington, this is the time to get things done. However, it may not be that simple, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.
OVERBY: Broadly speaking, corporate America's agenda starts with some issues that have been kicking around Congress for years. Take tort reform. House Republican leaders have the votes and the muscle to pass it. But in the Senate, Democrats have long blocked tort reform by threatening to talk it to death. Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle lost on Tuesday. One Republican lobbyist says that might chill future filibusters. But trial lawyers and other opponents of tort reform say Americans just don't want it. Joanne Doroshow is director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer rights group.
Ms. JOANNE DOROSHOW (Center for Justice and Democracy): The people that care about changing the civil justice system are basically the big Fortune 500 companies, organized medicine and the lobbyists.
OVERBY: Organized labor, too, may be down after this election, but it won't say it's out. Bill Samuel is legislative director at the AFL-CIO.
Mr. BILL SAMUEL (AFL-CIO): Congress was gridlocked over the last two and a half to three years, and the reason was that the administration and the Republican leadership made a decision to govern really as a conservative party, and the country is not conservative. It's moderate.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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