Planet News Views

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democrats Win Control of Congress

Democratic leaders talk about working together and change of strategy in Iraq

By Scott McLean

Democrats are now in control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to become the next House speaker, while Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be the Senate majority leader.

Election Day was as interesting as it's been in a long time. Before Election Day, I thought Democrats had a good chance of winning majorities in the House and Senate, but it wasn't a prediction, just an educated guess.

Americans were fed up with the war in Iraq and angered by a Republican-controlled congress unable or unwilling to deal with pressing domestic issues and at the same time give the president everything he wanted to fight the unpopular war.

Now things could get much more interesting as President Bush and the Democrats in Congress will have to work together to be effective.

After many of the election results came in Wednesday morning, Congresswoman Pelosi spoke about the kind of Congress Americans could look forward to under Democratic leadership.

“The American people voted for a New Direction to restore civility and bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. Democrats promise to work together in a bipartisan way for all Americans. The American people voted to restore integrity and honest in Washington, D.C. And the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history," Pelosi said.

President Bush in a press conference Wednesday talked about finding "common ground" with Democrats on issues including immigration reforms and energy policy.

"The people expect us to work together. That's what they expect," Bush said.

Bush said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation would have happened regardless of the election results.

Still, the mandate for change on Election Day was clear. American voters want change, especially regarding the war in Iraq and Rumsfeld received a lot of criticism of late.

The war on terror may not be over any time soon, but a timetable for leaving Iraq could be discussed by government leaders before long.

Senator Reid on Wednesday made it clear he wants a new strategy in Iraq.

"Today, I ask the President to convene a bipartisan Iraq summit with the leaders of Congress and the Chairman and Ranking Members of key national security committees. After more than three years of a failed strategy, we must come together to change course and give the American people and our troops the real security they deserve," Reid said.

It's also quite likely Democratic leaders will want more details on current strategy in Iraq and oversight of the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war thus far.


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