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LEGAL ISSUES

Possible Democratic Partners?

Business trade groups have been allied with the Republican Party for years. How will their agenda fare under the new Democratic majority?
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Sen. Blanche Lincoln
Arkansas
Business groups view her as a key ally in the Democratic caucus. She voted for the Central America free trade accord and the Bush tax cuts. She also supports issuing more H1-B visas.

Sen. Ken Salazar
Colorado
In January, this moderate lawmaker joined the Finance Committee, which oversees the tax code, tariffs, free trade deals, and import quotas. Cultivating him may be a twofer: His brother serves in the House.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez
New York (12th District)
As chair of the House Small Business Committee, she's been a critic of the administration's handling of small-business programs. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has her ear.

Sen. Richard Durbin
Illinois
Along with Lincoln, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat shopped a group health plan bill in the last Congress. Since he faces reelection in 2008, he is probably eager to get something done.




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