Sen. Pell Latest Demo To Retire

Six-term Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island on Tuesday became the seventh Democratic incumbent this year to announce his retirement, further bolstering the possibility that Republicans can increase their current 54-46 margin to a filibuster-proof majority of 60 or more next year.

Such a development - particularly if the GOP additions are as conservative as its current freshman class - could clear the obstacles that have stalled major portions of the GOP’s legislative agenda despite the party’s sweeping victories last November.

The 1994 elections gave Republicans numerical control of Congress for the first time in four decades, but the Democratic minority in the Senate has been large enough to frustrate GOP strategists.

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