Maine Independent Angus King To Caucus With Senate Democrats | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Maine Independent Angus King To Caucus With Senate Democrats

Sen.-elect Angus King of Maine, who cruised to victory last week running as an independent, said Wednesday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats.

King's announcement means the Democrats will have in essence a 55-45 seat advantage in the Senate next year.

The Senate's other independent, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also caucuses with the Democrats.

King was elected last week to replace the retiring moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

"I have decided to affiliate with the Democratic Caucus because doing so will allow me to take independent positions on issues as they arise and at the same time be an effective representative of the people of Maine," King said in a lengthy statement.

But he added:

"One final word. By associating myself with one side, I am not in automatic opposition to the other. In the situation of a Republican House, a Democratic Senate but with substantial powers in the minority, and a Democratic president, no one party can control the outcome of our collective deliberations. As Bill Clinton might say, it's just arithmetic. In fact, this situation has only two possible outcomes — action based upon good-faith compromise or no action resulting from political deadlock.

"And this latter is simply unacceptable to the American people."

The former governor of Maine, a former Democrat, had refused throughout the campaign to reveal whether he would caucus with Democrats or Republicans if elected. But his announcement Wednesday came as little surprise.

In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel after his election, King said he was optimistic the new Congress would be able to find areas of agreement during a second Obama term.

"I worked in the Senate as a young staffer in the '70s and saw it actually work," he said. "I saw senators of both parties sit around the table, argue, disagree, agree, but finally reached consensus and passed important legislation. So it can happen."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Netflix Adds Audio To Bring 'Daredevil' To Life For The Blind

After releasing the new Marvel superhero series, Daredevil, which features a blind hero, Netflix has added audio description options to the show.
NPR

Late Chicago Chef Sought To Open 'A New Page In Gastronomy'

A star of molecular gastronomy, Homaro Cantu, 38, took his own life this week. Cantu owned a Michelin-starred restaurant, but he also wanted to cure world hunger and improve Americans' eating habits.
NPR

When Politicians Lose Their Accents

Some say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Midwestern accent has become less pronounced. Georgetown professor Deborah Tannen says politicians' voices often change, depending on their audience.
NPR

Netflix Adds Audio To Bring 'Daredevil' To Life For The Blind

After releasing the new Marvel superhero series, Daredevil, which features a blind hero, Netflix has added audio description options to the show.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.