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N.C. Senator Discusses New Majority, Finds Reasons For Optimism

Posted May 25, 2001

— Thursday, Vermont Senator James Jeffords announced he will leave the Republican party and become an Independent. Jeffords said he found himself increasingly at odds with President Bush and Republican leaders on issues from abortion and education to taxes.

Jeffords' move not only cost Republicans the fragile control they held over a 50-50 Senate, but also the ability to move President Bush's agenda through Congress and ratify his judicial nominees. Everything from office space to oil drilling in Alaska could be affected by Jeffords' move.

Thursday afternoon, WRAL's David Crabtree spoke with North Carolina Senator John Edwards, now in the majority party in the United States Senate. Sen. Edwards said it is now up to his party to be inclusive, and to work with all members of the Senate.

Among the Senator's comments:

  • "(Democrats) don't have a corner on good ideas. Good ideas come from both parties, and we need to find ways to get things done."
  • "We have to show we deserve a leadership position (by) talking about and bringing legislation to the floor on issues that matter to the American people."
  • "Mainstream America benefits when there is a balance of power (between the parties), and now we have the Republicans in the White House and the House of Representatives, and a slight edge to the Democrats in the Senate. That's a good thing, because it tempers what happens and both sides' views will tend to be heard."
  • For the full interview with Senator Edwards, click on the video box.

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