26 October 2006 21:07 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIC news)--Democrats will win control of the House of Representatives and parity in the Senate next month, but even a Democrat Congress will have to deal with US energy needs, a top business political analyst said on Thursday.
“A lot of people are going to be cleaning out their lockers on Capitol Hill” after the 7 November national elections, said Bernadette Budde, senior vice president at the Business Industry Political Action Committee.
Budde predicted that Democrats will take control of the House by winning 17-36 seats. They need to win only 15 seats to reach a one-vote majority in the 435-member House.
“I am 100% convinced the Democrats will take control of the House,” she said.
She said Democrats likely will pick up five seats in the Senate, leaving the 100-seat upper chamber of the US Congress with a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans. There is a chance, she said, that Democrats could gain a net of seven seats in the Senate to secure a 52-48 majority.
Budde is the top political analyst for the Business Industry Political Action Committee, a 40-year-old advocacy group whose goal is to identify and support pro-business candidates for Congress. The group includes many chemical producers among its corporate members, according to a spokeswoman.
A Democrat victory next month would end 11 years of Republican dominance in Congress and likely raise a range of legislative challenges for the US chemicals industry, including tougher plant site security laws and diminished hopes for more access to offshore gas resources, the latter vital to the industry as its principal feedstock.
However, speaking to a gas industry meeting, Budde said that a Democrat Congress would not necessarily dash hopes for increased offshore energy development. “There are some issues that Congress simply can’t duck, no matter who’s in the majority,” she said. “They will have to do something about energy policy.”
In all, she said, “I think that the business community will come out of this election in a lot better shape than the Republican Party.”
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