Congress: Who Would Have Thunk It?
Senate Republicans Run Procedural Rings around Majority Leader Harry Reid

In the 96th Congress (1979-80)--with Democrats controlling 58 seats in the U.S. Senate--Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) took to the Senate floor in an extraordinary speech to complain that the Republicans were using parliamentary tactics to take control of the Senate schedule. The following January, the GOP won control of a majority of the seats in the Senate.

In the 109th Congress--with Republicans titularly controlling 55 seats in the "upper body"--it was the Democrats' turn to run procedural rings around the hapless and inexperienced GOP--and to seize control of the agenda. To no small part because they wrote the national legislative agenda, it was the Democrats' turn to take control of a majority of Senate seats in January 2007.

So it is more than an idle exercise to consider who's actually running the Senate this year. . . .

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