News Release

The Senate: Looking Ahead

The following policy analysts are available for interviews about implications of the Senate shakeup:

LARRY AGRAN
Agran is the mayor of Irvine, California. He said today: “It’s unwise to expect too much from the national Democratic Party. Instead of organizing nationwide against Bush’s outrageous $1.6 trillion tax-cut bonanza for the rich, the Democrats folded like a tent and agreed to a $1.35 trillion tax giveaway. With Jeffords’ switch and the Democrats in control of the Senate, we’ll soon see if the Democratic Party actually is prepared to do something about campaign finance reform, prescription drug benefits for seniors and the national scandal of persistent child poverty in America.”

CLARENCE LUSANE
Professor of political science at the School of International Service at American University, Lusane said today: “Jeffords has been a moderate Republican, so he’s going to line up with the moderate, not the liberal, Democrats. There will be limits on how much it changes the politics of the Senate, but it will change in a flash who is in control of the Senate. This will have an effect on judicial appointments, budget issues, foreign policy. Jesse Helms is no longer chair of the Foreign Relations Committee.”

JACQUELINE CABASSO
Cabasso, executive director of Western States Legal Foundation, said today: “The new Democratic leadership should mobilize support for the ABM Treaty and take action to oppose dangerous and destabilizing missile defense schemes. They should reinvigorate support for the Kyoto protocol, the Biological Weapons Convention and a sustainable energy policy. And they should aggressively challenge plans to develop ‘mini-nukes,’ proposals for oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness and the renewed drive for nuclear power.”
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TED GLICK
National coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, Glick said today: “While this might slow down parts of the Republican offensive, it’s inevitable that we will see a continuation, by and large, of the same types of policies that we have had since the Reagan Revolution, whether under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and now Bush II…. A high military budget was continued despite the end of the Cold War… More people were incarcerated under Clinton than under any other administration in U.S. history…”
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WILLIAM GROVER
Professor and chair of the political science department at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and author of The President As Prisoner, Grover said today: “Certainly, having Democrats in control of certain key Senate committees — Labor, Environment, Judiciary — will help smooth the more draconian edges of right-wing Republican policies in these areas in the short term. Government policy possibly may be marginally less destructive. But let’s not take leave of our senses. The Democrats have been partners with the GOP in dismantling the welfare state, remilitarizing our economy, and foisting anti-democratic trade policy (NAFTA, WTO) on the American public and, indeed, the world…”

For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167