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posted: 4/11/2014 5:01 AM

Know which party controls each of the branches

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I often read letters from readers who mistakenly assert that the Democrats control, or have controlled, all three branches of government. The facts are these: Since January 2009, the Republicans have abused Senate rules and insist on a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority for all legislation and nominations. The 60th Democratic senator was not seated until July 2009. Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Lieberman voted with Republicans. In August of 2009, Sen. Ted Kennedy fell ill and died. His special election replacement went to Republican Scott Brown.

So while the Senate remains a Democratic majority, they are hamstrung by the imposition of the 60-vote rule of filibuster by the Republican party. The House of Representatives was taken over in 2010 by the Republicans/Tea Party. Therefore, there was a period measurable in weeks where the Democrats had the majority in both houses and the White House, but to claim that they had control is misleading and mistaken.

Marie Harris


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