Entries in Democats (4)


2012 Election: Could GOP Take Control of Senate?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The magic number for Republicans in 2012 is four.

The GOP has to pick up just four Senate seats in order to gain control of the upper chamber, making this the fourth straight election where the balance of Congressional power lies in just a handful of races.  And while the election is still more than a year away, the battle lines are already starting to be drawn.

A total of 33 seats will be up for grabs in the 2012 election, 23 of which are held by Democrats.  Republicans will have open opportunities in six of those 23 states where the Democratic incumbent is retiring.

Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota are shaping up to be some of the closest Democrat-defended races, with Nevada and Massachusetts presenting possibilities for a switch from red to blue.

Only two Republicans are retiring, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona, although the GOP will likely hold on to those traditionally red-state seats.  With Tea Party popularity high in many states, GOP Senators could face tough primary races.

The still-floundering economy could mean trouble for Democrats who have twice as many Senators up for re-election than Republicans.  But the extra attention and resources of the Obama campaign is expected to turn out much larger numbers of Democratic voters than went to the polls in 2010, when Republicans gained six seats in the Senate -- but saw a decisive victory in the House of Representatives, wresting an historic 63 seats from Democrats, breaking that party's majority.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nancy Pelosi Hospitalized, Released in Rome

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was hospitalized in Rome Monday morning and later released after not feeling well following a weekend trip to Afghanistan, her office said Monday.

The former House Speaker, in Italy with a bipartisan congressional delegation to celebrate the country's 150th anniversary, abruptly cancelled a meeting with the Italian Defense Minister to seek medical attention for what the news agency ANSA described as a "fainting spell."

"After several flights yesterday in Afghanistan, and a long flight back to Italy that arrived early this morning, Leader Pelosi was not feeling well," Pelosi's office said in a statement. "This morning in Rome, the Leader was advised to visit a clinic, and the closest medical facility was a hospital."

Pelosi later returned to her hotel and has resumed her schedule, aides said. The U.S. delegation was to attend a concert in the Italian parliament as part of the anniversary celebrations.

"Thanks to everyone for your well wishes -- had a very productive trip to Afghanistan and am in Italy resuming meetings now," Pelosi said on Twitter.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome said it was aware of reports of Pelosi's hospitalization, but had no further comment.

Over the weekend Pelosi and the bipartisan delegation flew to Kabul, Afghanistan to meet with President Hamid Karzai, U.S. troops and military officials.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Both Parties Claim Victory In Wake of Senate Votes That Changed Nothing

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Now that the Senate has shot down both parties' spending proposals for the remaining six months of the fiscal year, will lawmakers actually start to make some headway on a long-term funding deal? The question is especially pressing considering the government is set to shut down in eight days.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday argued that Wednesday's "exercise wasn't in vain" because it proved that "one party alone will not reach a resolution without the other’s consent."

"We accept the lessons of yesterday's vote," he said on the Senate floor. "We know we'll have to make a sacrifice to reach consensus and we are willing to do that.'

The Senate's number-three Democrat Chuck Schumer went a step further, claiming that the votes "strengthened our hand" because it demonstrated that the House-passed spending bill -- that would cut $57 billion over the next six months -- was "dead on arrival" in the Senate. Now the Democrats would like to see a new offer from the GOP.

"We're looking for some give on the Republican side," Schumer said. "Where are they willing to meet us? That has to be the next step in this debate."

In addition, he quipped, the 44 Senate Republicans who voted for the House GOP spending plan "had more reservations than a Motel 6."

However, those 44 votes in favor of the GOP plan were two more than the Democrats managed to get for their own plan, despite the Democrats' 53 to 47 majority in the Senate. 11 Democrats, including Missouri's Claire McCaskill, broke with their party, with many of them arguing that the Democrats' proposal to cut $4.7 billion did not make nearly as many spending cuts as it should have.

"The Senate has not gone far enough. It is frankly disappointing to me," said McCaskill, who is up for re-election next year. "I still think that there are way too many people in denial around here about the nature of the problem and how serious it is. And I don't think we're demonstrating to the American people that we understand the nature of the problem when we present an alternative proposal with such a small number of cuts."

That message for Democrats -- "get serious" -- was one repeated time and time again by House Speaker John Boehner Thursday.

"It's time for Democrats here in Washington to get serious about these budget negotiations," Boehner said at his weekly press conference.

Right now the chances of both parties agreeing on a long-term spending deal before next Saturday appear slim to none. But that doesn’t mean that a government shutdown is in the cards: lawmakers may sign off on another short-term funding extension -- in all likelihood continuing to cut $2 billion a week -- to buy themselves three more weeks to reach a long-term agreement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Leader Pelosi Visits Rep. Giffords' Congressional Office

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dropped by the congressional office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Tuesday afternoon to meet privately with the Arizona Democrat's staff to comfort them in the wake of Saturday's massacre in Tucson.

Pelosi arrived at the office on the ground level of the Longworth House Office Building just after 2:00 p.m. and stayed for about 19 minutes before departing.

The former Speaker of the House did not address questions regarding her visit as she walked away.

A top aide to Pelosi says “she was there to pay her respects and visit with the staff,” but would not reveal any details of the private moment.

In addition to the attempted murder of Gabrielle Giffords, suspected gunman Jared Loughner is charged with killing Giffords’ director of community outreach Gabe Zimmerman and wounding two members of her congressional staff, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio