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Senate to hold closed joint caucus
AP on Yahoo ^ | 12/8/06 | Laurie Kellman - ap

Posted on 12/08/2006 1:49:35 PM PST by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - The first thing the new, Democratic-led Senate will do next year is meet in a closed "bipartisan caucus" to help set a more pleasant tone than the relentless backbiting of the Congress now heading home, party leaders said Friday.

Far from lawmakers conducting business in secret — as open-government advocates warn — the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.

"We won't always agree but can sit down, side by side, and forge consensus on the issues important to the American people," incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in a joint statement with his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

McConnell said, "Republicans intend to be as cooperative as possible to help the Senate get off to a good start next year."

Spokesmen for the lawmakers said the meeting would not amount to a closed session of the Senate under the chamber's rules.

However, any meeting of 100 senators with rules of any kind is by definition a meeting of the Senate, said Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for The Heritage Foundation.

"It would be a de facto meeting of the Senate and although they want to call it something else, it is," Darling said.

"To set up something and to plan something between the leaders is very unusual and should be subject to open government rules," he added. "Their intentions are good, but the results of what they're doing will be not good for the American people."

The Jan. 4 meeting, to be held in the hours before the new Democratic majority formally opens the 110th Congress, will take place in the Old Senate Chamber. It would be the first meeting of the full Senate in the historic room since President Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial.

The plans were disclosed Friday, as a Congress still under Republican control was being accused by Democrats of being a "do-nothing" institution.

The gathering could establish a precedent expanding the kinds of "executive sessions" that up to now have been relatively rare.

Still, McConnell spokesman Don Stewart likened the proposal to closed weekly policy lunches that the Republican and Democratic caucuses hold separately.

"We won't be transacting legislative business," Stewart said.

The Senate met in private until 1794 in the belief that its role providing counsel to the executive branch compelled closed proceedings.

Since 1929, the Senate has held 54 closed sessions, generally for reasons of national security, according to a Sept. 27 report of the Congressional Research Service. Democrats last year forced a closed session of the Senate to discuss Iraq war intelligence.

Closed sessions of the Senate are held periodically to discuss specific, sensitive business, such as impeachment deliberations, matters of national security and sensitive communications from the president, according to the report by the Congressional Research Service.

Members and staff who attend the meetings have been prohibited from divulging details, and transcripts have not been published unless the chamber votes to release them.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: caucus; closed; congress; joint; senate; ussenate

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, answers questions on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 after being to presented with the Irag Study Group's report on the situation in Iraq. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., left, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., look on. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)


1 posted on 12/08/2006 1:49:36 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

... the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.

---

Let the games begin!


2 posted on 12/08/2006 1:50:41 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... Kyl / Cornyn in '08 .... Now is as good as any time for a GOPurge.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Far from lawmakers conducting business in secret — as open-government advocates warn — the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.

Riiiiight.

3 posted on 12/08/2006 1:51:02 PM PST by The Blitherer (Fight On!)
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To: NormsRevenge
a preview of things to come?

more "study groups"?

Iraq Study Group Co-Chairman, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, right, addresses the Congressional leadership on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 to present the Group's report on situation in Iraq. From left are, Iraq Study Group member, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Iraq Study Group Co-Chairman, former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, current-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tenn., incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. and Baker. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

4 posted on 12/08/2006 1:51:50 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... Kyl / Cornyn in '08 .... Now is as good as any time for a GOPurge.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Laugh until I puke.
5 posted on 12/08/2006 1:52:21 PM PST by boomop1 (there you go again)
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To: NormsRevenge

U.S. President Bush speaks during a bicameral and bipartisan congressional meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, December 8, 2006. From L to R are: House Republican Whip-elect Roy Blunt, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Republican Leader-elect John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), President Bush, Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES)


6 posted on 12/08/2006 1:54:07 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... Kyl / Cornyn in '08 .... Now is as good as any time for a GOPurge.)
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To: NormsRevenge
the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.

In other words, they're going to threaten each other and find common ground on where the American people need to be screwed.
7 posted on 12/08/2006 1:54:23 PM PST by cripplecreek (Peace without winning is a temporary illusion.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Harry Reid's New bi-partisanism = My way or no way.


8 posted on 12/08/2006 1:54:53 PM PST by reagandemo (The battle is near are you ready for the sacrifice?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Why do I hear Reggae music when I read that headline?


9 posted on 12/08/2006 1:55:56 PM PST by Redcloak (Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.)
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To: NormsRevenge

With boarish bullies like Webb going in, I doubt any good manners will prevail in the new Congress.


10 posted on 12/08/2006 1:57:18 PM PST by Paperdoll
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To: Redcloak

Lol. It's a joint caucus, mon!


11 posted on 12/08/2006 1:58:21 PM PST by Shaun_MD (Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my fingers to fight, and my hands to war.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The start of a two year farce.


12 posted on 12/08/2006 1:58:41 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: NormsRevenge; Bahbah; Mo1

Please notice the one word in that article that should make us all worry.."concensus"...and that was spoken by Harry Reid...

THAT is NOT a good sign...remember, one of the reasons the GOP suffered before was the close "cooperation" between Lott and Daschle.

What with the "Gang of 14"...and the RINOS still left...all this will do will set it up in NOT a good way if Pres. Bush is impeached in the House...

I saw Harry giving a speech on the Senate floor today, and he was praising the "bravery" of the Gang of 14 to stop a "dangerous" precedent.....



13 posted on 12/08/2006 2:00:12 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: cripplecreek

Ok now that we're in a closed session, how fast do we want to grow the federal government, and what in the constitution do we want to update, oh, also how much of a raise should we vote for ourselves in May?


14 posted on 12/08/2006 2:00:16 PM PST by TheKidster
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To: NormsRevenge

Oh..you mentioned "more 'study groups'"???

Sens. Lieberman and Collins have come out today and said they want ANOTHER ISG..this time with Senate leaders!!!

No joke.


15 posted on 12/08/2006 2:01:25 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Shaun_MD

"I call dis meetin' ta order, mon!"

16 posted on 12/08/2006 2:01:58 PM PST by Redcloak (Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.)
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To: STARWISE; Howlin; MNJohnnie; Peach; Carolinamom; OldFriend; tiredoflaundry; rodguy911; Phsstpok; ...

PING.


17 posted on 12/08/2006 2:04:00 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Redcloak

Mon, dis stuff be so good, All I be seein be nuffin but red x's (Ha!) :)


18 posted on 12/08/2006 2:04:27 PM PST by Shaun_MD (Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my fingers to fight, and my hands to war.)
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To: NormsRevenge
The Jan. 4 meeting, to be held in the hours before the new Democratic majority formally opens the 110th Congress

If the Congress isn't in session the Republicans can't be compelled to attend. I hope they sit this one out.

19 posted on 12/08/2006 2:06:08 PM PST by RJL
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To: NormsRevenge
McConnell said, "Republicans intend to be as cooperative as possible to help the Senate get off to a good start next year."

Actually what McConnell said was: "Republican intend to cave into every demand from the dimocrats. We plan to turn tail and run, cower in the corner, become beasts of burden, take all blame, crap on our constituents, screw the public, turn our backs on the troops, and anything else the dimocrats demand we do. We are weak kneed and have no spine. We are simply worthless."

20 posted on 12/08/2006 2:07:18 PM PST by RetiredArmy (I don't march to other people's opinion of me or my beliefs. I march to my beliefs and heart.)
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To: RJL

Reid doesn't look too good - maybe his health will deteriorate and he'll have to resign his post. (Not in a million years, but we all have our Christmas wish list!)
Just out of curiosity, does Nevada have a Republican governor?


21 posted on 12/08/2006 2:08:25 PM PST by princess leah
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To: Redcloak

My first thought as well. LOL


22 posted on 12/08/2006 2:08:31 PM PST by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might)
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To: Shaun_MD

Clear da cache, mon.

er... I mean...

I dunno... It works where I'm sitting. I get the classic shot of a spliff that's fatter than Hillary's calves.


23 posted on 12/08/2006 2:09:19 PM PST by Redcloak (Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hmmm...so K street's decided America needs a bipartisan scew job?!!!!!!


24 posted on 12/08/2006 2:11:42 PM PST by mo
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To: Redcloak

You mean I'm the only one seeing the X? Oh man, I have been hitting it too hard. My computer is junk anyway and so is windows.


25 posted on 12/08/2006 2:12:26 PM PST by Shaun_MD (Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my fingers to fight, and my hands to war.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Rats started this by being liars, obstructionist and pessimist so why should the Republicans give them anything more or less than what they were willing to give? It wasn't just about having a different point of view it was about pure hatred.


26 posted on 12/08/2006 2:12:54 PM PST by tobyhill (The War on Terrorism is not for the weak.)
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To: Redcloak
Why do I hear Reggae music when I read that headline?

Hey mon, the Democrat leadership's waitin' for their toke!


27 posted on 12/08/2006 2:17:15 PM PST by COBOL2Java ("No stronger retrograde force exists in the world" - Winston Churchill on Islam)
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To: NormsRevenge

"We won't always agree but can sit down, side by side, and forge consensus on the issues important to the American people," incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said...

"... in other words, if they don't agree with us, we'll grill the stomachs of those Republican Infidels in hell!"

28 posted on 12/08/2006 2:25:45 PM PST by Gritty (Now that Democrats have won the House, they can concentrate on losing the war - Ann Coulter)
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To: Txsleuth

TANKS for the ping,,,,More "Back-room" deals I guess...


29 posted on 12/08/2006 2:36:39 PM PST by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: NormsRevenge
Exclusive secret video of immigration debate!
30 posted on 12/08/2006 2:45:51 PM PST by F-117A (Who is Jamil Hussein?)
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To: Gritty

The Dims want to try to form a 60 vote cartel by playing to the RINOS. They might be able to do it.


31 posted on 12/08/2006 2:53:12 PM PST by Ingtar (Prensa dos para el ingles)
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To: NormsRevenge

So, I'm guessing this is where the republicans REALLY kiss butt and beg for their spines back.


32 posted on 12/08/2006 3:35:43 PM PST by packrat35 (guest worker/day worker=SlaveMart)
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To: NormsRevenge
Democratic-led Senate will do next year is meet in a closed "bipartisan caucus" to help set a more pleasant tone than the relentless backbiting of the Congress now heading home, party leaders said Friday. Of course, the damned democrats who have played partisan obstructionism and spite for all this time are now in power so they want the nation to believe they can make the Senate run in bitartisan fashion, as if the stupid pubby Senators have been responsible for the partisan crap the democrats have created. The remaining pubby fools had better bring the Congress to a grinding halt of gridlock, if they want to ever win another election with conservative voters.
33 posted on 12/08/2006 3:44:52 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: NormsRevenge

They had better not get together and try to pass an amnesty
for Illegals: many folks are drawing a line in the sand
on that one.


34 posted on 12/08/2006 3:50:32 PM PST by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: cripplecreek
In other words, they're going to threaten each other and find common ground on where the American people need to be screwed.

Yes, building "consensus;" it's called the Delphi technique.

35 posted on 12/08/2006 3:53:50 PM PST by Colorado Buckeye (It's the culture stupid!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Koo koo for caca. The Senate ought to be fired.


36 posted on 12/08/2006 3:54:20 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Repeal the 17th Amendment)
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To: reagandemo
"Harry Reid's New bi-partisanism = My way or no way."


37 posted on 12/08/2006 7:21:31 PM PST by libs_kma (Monica blew while Al-Queda grew.....Oh well, Clinton happens!)
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To: NormsRevenge
No surprise, now that the Democrats lied and demagogue their way back into power we are all suppose to play nice together. And the worst thing, 7 gutless RINO Senators lead by John McCain will fall all over themselves to make this happen.
38 posted on 12/09/2006 2:46:30 AM PST by MNJohnnie (I do not forgive Senator John McCain for helping destroy everything we built since 1980.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Amazing! The leading practitioners of the POLITICS OF FEAR, DIVISION, AND HATRED now want everyone to believe that they are reasonable, caring and considerate of other points of view.

Everyone should keep in mind that the swing vote in an equally divided Senate will come from a SOCIALIST who really holds very similar positions to his Democrap counterparts!
39 posted on 12/09/2006 2:59:01 AM PST by leprechaun9
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