The Jeffords Factor

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Today marks the first day of the new Senate, just a week after Vermont’s James Jeffords stunned the nation, not to mention the White House, by jumping from the Republican ship.

It’s a return to divided government, and even though the tax cut is done, there’s plenty up for debate: drilling in ANWAR and off shore, faith-based charity initiatives, judicial nominees, and missile defense to name a few. An increase of the minimum wage may be an issue, along with patient’s rights and prescription drugs. As the Democrats settle back to bigger staffs and chairmanships, rumors of Republican filibusters linger in the air, and everyone’s watching moderates like Chaffee and Snow, and the maverick John McCain to divine the future of the GOP.

With party lines blurring, taking a look at the path ahead on Capitol Hill…
(Hosted by Robert Siegel)


Mara Liasson, NPR’s Washington correspondent

Senator Charles Grassley (R–Iowa)

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada)

and Robert Dove, Parliamentarian Emeritus, United States Senate, and Professor of Law at Georgetown University.