Jan 3 With a close Minnesota race still
undecided, Democrats will hold no more than 59 seats in the new
100-member U.S. Senate that convenes on Jan. 6.
That means Democrats will need the help of at least a few
Republicans to hit the 60 votes required to clear procedural
roadblocks known as filibusters.
Here's a look at some Senate Republicans who have worked
with Democrats in the past:
* John McCain of Arizona, the failed U.S. presidential
candidate, has earned a reputation for bucking party
leadership, including on a bipartisan bill that would have
revamped U.S. immigration laws. Unlike many Republicans, McCain
also favors aggressive action to stem global warming.
* Susan Collins of Maine has opposed Republican leaders by
voting to maintain a ban on oil drilling in protected areas of
Alaska and against conservative social issues, like banning
same-sex marriage and imposing new limits on abortion. She also
has voted in favor of expanded stem-cell research and providing
illegal immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship.
* Olympia Snowe, also of Maine, has broken ranks with many
fellow Republicans in voting to increase the federal minimum
wage. Like Collins, she has opposed many conservative social
initiatives. She also breached Republican doctrine in 2004 when
she argued for applying "pay as you go" budget rules to tax
cuts as well as spending increases.
* Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was instrumental in
defeating Republican President Ronald Reagan's nomination of
Robert Bork to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently,
he opposed limits Bush sought on medical malpractice lawsuits
and butted heads with the Bush administration on warrantless
* George Voinovich of Ohio worked to narrow the size and
cost of Bush's signature tax cuts and voted against some
Republican budget plans. In 2005, Voinovich spoke out against
Bush's choice of John Bolton to be U.S. ambassador to the
* Conversely, some centrist Democrats cannot be counted on
to always vote with their party. Among them are Mary Landrieu
of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Max Baucus of Montana and
Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
(Sources: Reuters, The Almanac of American Politics)
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by David Alexander and