NBC (6/3, story 6, Seigenthaler) reported last night, "To Capitol Hill now, barely two days before a historic shift of power in the Senate. . Both parties are struggling to find a coherent message." NBC (Johns) added, " Senate Democrats, who will take control Tuesday evening, contradicted each other on whether the just passed tax cut should be revised." Incoming Rules Committee Chairman Chris Dodd was shown saying, "I think we ought to come back in and offer legislation, particularly when it comes to the tax cuts that go to the most affluent." Democratic Whip Harry Reid was shown saying, " We don't intend to reopen the tax bill at this stage." NBC added, " Republicans seem split over tactics and tone. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott argues Democrats lack a mandate to govern. But another top Republican hinted his party might cooperate with plans to reorganize the Senate this week." Sen. Don Nickles was shown saying, "We'll pass an organizational resolution," adding, "I'm confident we will by Tuesday or Wednesday or in the not too distant future." NBC added, "Meanwhile, some incoming Democratic committee chairmen struck a unified tone - - short on specifics, but full of civility. On the touchy issue of judicial nominations, the soon to be Judiciary Chairman backed away from a fight with the Administration." Sen. Patrick Leahy was shown saying, "I will work with the White House. I've talked to them about that." NBC added, "On the President's missile defense plan, the incoming Armed Services Chairman cast doubt on the proposal, but didn't rule it out." Sen. Carl Levin was shown saying, "A lot less likely now, but still possible, but we're going to force a real realistic look at it." NBC added, "The light touch approach may not be enough. One analyst says the Democrats are in a delicate position." University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato was shown saying, "The worst danger for the Democrats is overreaching. They need to remember that having this very narrow majority does not entitle them to get all of their agenda enacted." NBC added, "But there are many battles ahead. Over issues like managed care reform and increasing the minimum wage." The Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Detroit News run a McClatchy Newspapers story (6/4, O'Rourke) reporting, "The US Senate will start moving furniture Tuesday night, triggering a political earthquake for Capitol Hill and" Bush's presidency. With "caution underscoring the GOP mood of anger and disappointment, Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi declared, 'President Bush's agenda will be heard and voted on.'" But "how and when that agenda will reach the Senate floor no longer will be the province of Lott, who, when the furniture is moved, steps down as majority leader." Daschle said, "The only way we can accomplish our agenda, the only way that the administration will be able to accomplish their agenda, is if we truly work together." However, "working together appears to have different meanings for different people." Reid "said Bush should negotiate with Democrats before sending legislative proposals and judicial nominations to Capitol Hill," but Nickles "said the president was elected by the entire nation to present an agenda and nominees, and Senate Democrats should not act as if they had a veto power." Control of the Senate "will shift from Republicans to Democrats between the time the Senate shuts down for the day Tuesday and reopens Wednesday. During those hours, the desk and chair of Jeffords will be moved -- according to his wishes -- from the Republican side of the Senate chamber to the Democratic side." Reuters (6/4, Kaplan) reports, "With Democrats preparing to reorganize key committees and steer the chamber away from" Bush's "conservative agenda, senators from both parties talked up the need for compromise." Said Nickles, "We're going to move on and make the best of it," adding that Republicans "will have to 'see where we can find bipartisan coalitions.'" Sen. Orrin Hatch "and other Republicans warned about one potential sticking point: The prospect Democrats will try to bottle up Bush's judicial nominees and keep them from getting a vote in the full Senate. 'There's a real concern on our side that there's going to be an automatic slowdown in all of these (nominees),' Hatch said." On the "Fox News Sunday" program, Sen. Rick Santorum, "the chair of the Republican Conference, said Republicans might filibuster the organizational changes accompanying the shift in power if they do not get assurances that judicial nominees and executive appointments will reach the Senate floor." The New York Times (6/5, A1, Alvarez) reports, "Daschle, seemingly intent on not pressing his new advantage too hard lest he create the same resentments that hurt the Republicans when they narrowly held power, said his goal as majority leader would be to find a middle ground both in his own party and with Republicans, and to create an atmosphere of civility at a time of significant political strain." In an interview, he said, "I'm going to make a concerted effort at every level within our caucus to be more inclusive, to reach out, to try and create a more conducive environment," adding, "We're going to give Republicans a chance to offer amendments. That is something they denied us the right to do on so many occasions." Leahy "said in an interview that he planned to act on judicial nominees and consult with Republicans in a way he said Republicans did not do when Bill Clinton was president, so long as the nominee is not overly conservative." The Washington Times (6/4, A1, Price) reports, "A Senate Republican leader," Santorum, "warned yesterday that Republicans will filibuster and block Democrats from having a one-vote majority on committees unless Democrats allow all of President Bush's judicial and executive nominations to come up for votes on the Senate floor." Santorum "added that Republican lawmakers are not demanding that the nominees be confirmed. Republicans just want them to 'have the opportunity to be voted on.'" Santorum, while "never using the word 'filibuster'.acknowledged that, unless Democrats provide some protection for the president's judicial and executive nominees, he favors Republicans maintaining their domination of the committee structure -- despite the Democrats' control of the Senate. Republican-dominated committees would result from a Republican filibuster of the proposed Senate reorganization." The AP (6/4) also reports that Republicans "say they may try to block a Democratic takeover of Senate committees unless the Democrats promise they will not reject outright or indefinitely delay President Bush's judicial nominees." A filibuster "would bring all Senate business to a halt." Sen. Byron Dorgan "said he did not think Republicans would carry through on the filibuster threat. While GOP lawmakers stalled action on former President Clinton's judicial nominees, he said, 'you will not see us do what was done to us.'" Reid said on CNN's "Late Edition" that it is "time that President Bush realize that he doesn't have a mandate. He is the president. I support him as being the president, but I think it's time that we really start being bipartisan." Roll Call (6/4, Kane) reports, "Once Democrats take charge Wednesday, a strange scenario will unfold that will leave Democrats chairing all 20 Senate committees; however, most of them will have Republican majorities until a new resolution is adopted that reassigns ratios and Members to the panels. Seizing on this parliamentary rarity, Republicans believe they can use this to their advantage in negotiating a new committee deal by preventing Democrats from moving their favored legislation, such as managed care reform and a minimum wage increase, through committees until a deal is hatched." Roll Call adds, " As part of that effort to strike the best agreement, new Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) has begun a verbal campaign to discredit Democratic claims that they hold a majority, instead noting that their 50- 49-1 edge only gives them a plurality in the 100-seat chamber." Sen. Patrick Leahy said on CBS' "Face The Nation" (6/3), "This idea that there's going to be some kind of confrontation for the sake of confrontation is really foolish. ... I will work with the White House. I've talked to them about that. But we have a lot of other things on our plate besides just judges." Sen. Chuck Schumer was asked on ABC's "This Week" (6/3) whether Democrats would delay consideration of the President's judicial nominees. Schumer said, "I don't think there's any intent to not nominate, to use dilatory tactics. All we want to do is carefully examine the nominees' records. Since the ABA has been removed from the White House, there's virtually no vetting process outside the White House. And we feel we have to do that. But once the vetting process goes forward, we will move forward with the nominees. We do not want to slow them down." Asked to elaborate, he said, "Once the administration informs us of a nominee, we will ask the bar association to thoroughly review each candidate, and we will not bring them for a hearing until that review occurs. It should take three or four weeks. But three or four weeks, when you're making lifetime appointments, which federal judges are, is not too much to ask." Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan was asked on ""Fox News Sunday"" (6/3) whether Democrats will hold up President Bush's judicial nominees. Dorgan said, "My expectation is that we're not going to hold up judicial nominations. These are lifetime appointments, so they're important, but we're not going to hold them up. I mean, I hope the president will consult with us and send us names that are names that we can approve. But my expectation is you will not see us do what was done to us in recent years in the Senate with judicial nominations." Asked if he could grant assurances that nominees would at least get to the Senate floor, Dorgan replied, "Not with respect to every nominee, but I'll bet you this. I'll bet Senator Daschle and our caucus will give the Republicans the assurances that we won't do what they did in recent years. We're not going to keep nominations bottled up for years, we're just not going to do that."

House GOP Leaders Warn The White House Not To Compromise With Senate Democrats. Roll Call (6/4, Crabtree) reports, "Republican House leaders return this week bearing a warning to the White House: They will push ahead with President's Bush's agenda as long as the administration does not move to the left to appeal to Senate Democrats. Undeterred by the Senate's seismic power shift, Republican House leaders vowed to move a laundry list of agenda items." Roll Call adds, "In a three-page memo sent to every House Republican over the recess, Majority Leader Dick Armey (Texas) repeatedly urged the GO Conference to 'stick together' and told lawmakers to get over any feelings of disillusionment caused by Sen. Jim Jeffords' (I-Vt.) decision to leave the GOP, resulting in control of the Senate swinging to the Democrats." Roll Call adds, "Privately, GOP House leadership aides were more blunt. They said White House officials have two choices: They can either depend on the House to set the pace of Bush's agenda or they can modify their legislative goals to appeal to Democrats in an effort to pass more items." A "senior GOP leadership aide" said, "Maybe now (the White House) will stop taking the House for granted.or (Bush) could take the opposite route and start cozying up to Daschle. Make no mistake about it. If that happens, we'll do what it takes to protect our Members."

Democratic Senate's Effect On Bush Agenda Pondered. The Washington Times (6/4, Lambro) reports, "Republican and White House strategists believe" Bush " can push ahead with many aspects of his legislative agenda despite the power shift in the Senate." A "Senate Republican official" said, "Bush will have to be pretty deft in his dealings with the incoming Senate majority, but it's perfectly possible that he will come out ahead." Bush "appears to be on a roll. Congress has given him most of what he wanted in his sweeping $1.35 trillion tax cut plan, including an effective 33 percent top marginal tax rate when personal exemptions are factored in. And he is closer to getting his education reform bill through the Senate after the House passed it by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 384-45 vote." The New York Times (6/5, A1, Alvarez) reports, "Casting a favorable glow on the unwelcome role reversal, Republicans are quick to point out that Mr. Bush's two primary goals -- a tax cut and an education bill -- are largely finished. 'That was the major part of the Bush agenda,' said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky. 'After that, it was going to be difficult whether we were called majority or minority.' Anyway, Mr. McConnell added, 'Some of the greatest moments I've had in the Senate have been when we were in the minority.'" The Dallas Morning News (6/4, Lee) reports, "One way to think of the Republican- controlled Senate is as a TV series that has just been canceled. Now the Democrats are in charge of installing the midseason replacement." The Morning News adds, "New episodes in the Senate will feature debates over education, health care," and "federal spending bills, analysts said. Meanwhile, big tax cuts - President Bush's top priority - will be pushed into the background, except when the impact of their cost on important programs is examined anew. Other Bush proposals such as privatizing part of Social Security, launching a new missile defense program and drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness will fade from view, analysts said. And the president will have trouble winning confirmation for conservative judicial nominees, they said."

Calio Facing GOP Fire In Wake Of Jeffords' Defection. Roll Call (6/4, Bresnahan) reports, "In the round of Republican finger pointing that inevitably followed" Sen. Jim Jeffords' defection from the GOP, Nick Calio, the White House director of legislative affairs "has emerged as the villain to some party faithful who are eager to find a scapegoat for the defection, which ended six years of GOP control of the Senate." Roll Call adds, "In an interview with Roll Call last week, however, Calio dismissed the attacks as much ado about nothing, and claimed that this, his second stint as chief lobbyist for a president named Bush, is as least as enjoyable as the first go- round." Roll Call adds that there have been "whispers that Calio is out of touch with some GOP lawmakers, especially on the House side, and that he has an abrasive personality. 'He embodies everything that is wrong with the White House,' a senior House GOP staffer griped. 'Arrogant, self-important and unwilling to recognize that there are other players involved in the process.' A well-connected GOP lobbyist said some high-ranking administration officials privately blame Calio for the failure to provide Bush and Vice President Cheney with an advance warning that Jeffords was negotiating with Democratic Sens. Thomas Daschle (S.D.) and Harry Reid (Nev.) over committee assignments he would receive if he crossed the aisle. . Nevertheless, Calio has a core of defenders on and off Capitol Hill who claim their friend is being unfairly criticized for something that was beyond his control."

Democrats Expected To Push For Minimum Wage Increase. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette (6/3, Barton) reported, "Returned to power in the Senate, Democrats are promising a vote soon on the first increase in the federal minimum wage since 1997. Advocates for Arkansas' low-income families say an increase can't come soon enough. Thirty thousand Arkansans make the $5.15 minimum wage or less, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics." However, "some of the state's largest employers of minimum-wage workers -- the food, lodging and travel businesses that make up the hospitality industry -- warn that the increase could do more harm than good in an already tight labor market. Few doubt that some type of increase will pass, likely with a package of tax sweeteners for business, especially small business."

Miller Says Daschle's Majority Is "Fragile." The Atlanta Journal- Constitution (6/3, Dart) reported Daschle "had choice words ready for Zell Miller, his fellow Democrat, when the folksy senator from Georgia co- sponsored a tax cut bill backed by President Bush and most Republicans." Miller said, "He had a steely determination for me to hear his reasoning. He had it down exactly, what he wanted to say to this maverick, this renegade. I tried to interrupt, but he said, 'Wait, hear me out.' I think Tom Daschle is a shrewd, tough, competitive, hard-working warrior. You underestimate him at your own peril." The Journal Constitution added that to "ensure victories against a unified GOP, Democrats would have to stay together and pull in Jeffords." Miller said, "This majority is fragile. The Senate is balkanized." Miller added that the "new leader's toughest task will be forming a majority from the liberal Democratic wing and from centrist elements of both parties." He "predicted" that if Daschle "allows the Senate agenda to move too far left, the Democrats risk becoming a foil for the White House."

GOP Effort Paints Daschle As Obstructionist. The Chicago Tribune (6/3, Zuckman) reported, "Even before he assumes the Senate's highest post, the White House-controlled Republican National Committee has launched a campaign to undermine" Sen. Tom Daschle "and portray him as a knee-jerk partisan unwilling to compromise or cooperate with President Bush." An RNC release " dubs Daschle 'Dr. No,'" and asks, "How will Tom Daschle work with President Bush to solve the nation's problems when Daschle has attacked everything President Bush has done?" The release "cites Daschle's opposition to John Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general, to Bush's tax-cut package and even his unsurprising support for Vice President Al Gore's Florida recount effort against Bush." But Daschle said he is "committed to finding a way to work with Republicans, noting that he has offered several times to work with Bush." Asked what would happen "if Democrats and Republicans can't find common ground," Daschle said, "There has to be. We won't be able to move any legislation in the Senate unless we work together." Daschle said the Senate " upon its return will pass a bipartisan education bill and that compromise also is possible on a patient's bill of rights, a prescription drug benefit for seniors, a minimum wage increase and legislation to address the energy crisis -- all Democratic priorities." The Tribune added political analyst Charles Jones said Daschle "is assuming a complex role as a majority leader without much of a majority." Jones said, "That's a tricky bit to avoid what the Republicans are setting up for being Dr. No and having him be Dr. Yes. There are going to be the expectations, you're leading, what have you got." The Tribune added that while Daschle "remains confident in the face of the Republican onslaught, other Democratic senators said the attacks disprove Bush's claim that he is changing the tone in Washington." Sen. John Kerry said, "I think personal attacks and personal politics will always backfire." The Tribune added John Weaver, "a Republican political consultant to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said the White House was making a mistake with Daschle, similar to the way officials dealt with Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont, who left the Republican Party to become an Independent." Weaver said, "I don't think they should underestimate Daschle, nor does it make sense to vilify him either. It's going to be very difficult to do so legitimately, much less before he's taken office."

Bush Will Stay Out Of Fray As GOP Steps Up Attacks On Democrats. US News and World Report (6/11, Bedard) reports in its Washington Whispers column that "the scuttling of the GOP Senate majority due to Sen. Jim Jeffords's defection has cleared the way for a resumption of the capital's favorite sport: partisan bickering. 'The change in the Senate has effectively ended President Bush's ban on partisan sniping,' says a top GOP official. It's a relief to both sides. . Especially cheerful: the Republican National Committee. 'Chairman (Jim) Gilmore is champing at the bit to turn it up,' says an insider." US News adds, "Don't look for Bush to break his civility code. But so what: His aides and allies are already at it, blasting White Houses foes like California Gov. Gray Davis for hiring former Gore spin doctors to help him out of the energy crisis. However, all Bush mouthpieces will try to refrain from personal attacks, we're told. Instead: The GOP will mine newspaper morgues and personal info to highlight hypocritical actions by Democrats."

Lieberman's Ascension To Governmental Affairs Panel Chairmanship Gives Him Prominent Platform. Roll Call (6/4, Pershing) reports, "While Democrats have been wondering since the start of President Bush's tenure who will emerge as their national leader, the recent ascendance of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D- Conn.) to the chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee appears to have filled another of their party's key vacancies: chief watchdog." Roll Call adds, "Even though Lieberman hasn't sketched out a game plan yet, it is clear that many of the issues he is likely to address dovetail neatly with the drumbeat of Democratic complaints over Bush's environmental and energy policies." Roll Call also notes that "Lieberman's new post and subpoena power give him a prominent platform from which to needle the administration. The fact that the camera-friendly new chairman is also a former vice presidential candidate and a potential challenger to Bush in 2004 should make the story line even more compelling."

Murray Taking More Confrontational Stance. The Seattle Times (6/3, Hendren) reported that as "chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee since January," Sen. Patty Murray is "sought out by Democratic Senate hopefuls from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine." And as "a member of the Senate's new Democratic leadership -- and, party officials say, the next chairwoman of the subcommittee that controls federal transportation funding -- the former 'mom in tennis shoes' wields more power than ever." But Murray is "also finding she has less access to the Bush administration than she had to the Democratic White House under whom she served until this year." Now that she "has more say in the Senate and less sway in the administration, Murray is revealing a more confrontational edge." Since January, she has "taken on the White House publicly over plenty of issues, including her four top priorities this year: education, the energy crisis, pipeline safety and Hanford nuclear cleanup." With Democrats "controlling what legislation makes it to the Senate floor, and under what terms, Bush may have to offer concessions to a broader range of Democrats before his legislative priorities get a vote." Murray said, "Unless he reaches out and works with the middle part of the Democratic Party, he's not going to see those issues come to the floor in the Senate."

Kerry, Kennedy Planning To Take Larger Role. The Boston Herald (6/3, Woodlief) reported the Democratic takeover of the Senate "will make Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry very big players on the national scene." Kennedy, "just days away from becoming chairman once more of the powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, now has what aides call a 'Kennedy Trifecta' in his sights: Enactment of a strong managed care patients' bill of rights, an education law with lots of new money for teachers and other needs -- and a $1.50 an hour increase in the minimum wage." Kerry, "mentioned more and more as a prospect for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, will become chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, a good bully pulpit for befriending small-town entrepreneurs all over America." Kerry said he will "hold hearings on how small businesses can be helped to pay the costs of 'more environmentally friendly practices' without drowning in excessive expenses. Kerry said small business operators (especially in a slowing economy) have to be assured they can pay for various technologies that curb pollution but can be expensive." Kerry said, "Maybe we can help with tax credits or low-interest loans or some other way. But we've got to try to find the solution that has the least cost, is least intrusive but is most effective." The Washington Post (6/4, E3, Crenshaw) reports, "The change in control of the Senate means a change in direction for the chamber's Small Business Committee as well. The new chairman, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), said he intends to enlarge the scope of the panel, hopefully raising its profile within the Senate and outside it." The committee "has long wrestled with the problem that the key issues of its small-business constituency -- taxes, regulation, health care, access to capital and the like -- are numerous and also within the purview of major committees, which tend to dominate the debate on them. That often leaves the Small Business Committee feeling stepped on and its interests overlooked." However, "Kerry hopes to turn the wide range of issues that affect small businesses to an advantage, fitting together matters that have often been dealt with piecemeal in the legislative process." Kerry "said last week that he intends to continue the focus on easing the 'restraints on small business. ' He said simplifying regulation is a key goal." Kerry "said he wants to make environmental matters another priority, and to hold a hearing 'on the relationship of small business to environmental regulation, to defuse the mystery about it and try to figure out where big- company rules applied to small entities don't fit.'"

Some Democrats Scramble To Move To Better Office Space. Roll Call (6/4, Henry, Preston) reports, "A fast and furious game of musical chairs is taking place in the new-look Senate, as Democrats begin to flex their majority muscles and exercise their right to snatch prime real estate in the Capitol. While" Daschle "is keeping his old Capitol digs, it didn't take long for wily Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), once and future chairman of the Appropriations Committee, to scoop up some of the best space on the Hill. And Senate insiders are awaiting word to see if incoming Majority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev. ) will evict new Minority Whip Don Nickles (R-Okla.) from S-208, a coveted office just steps away from the chamber floor." Roll Call adds, "For Republicans anxious to continue holding their weekly Conference and leadership meetings in the spacious Mansfield Room, there appears to be good news. A top Daschle aide said Friday that Democrats are expected to continue meeting in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room, rather than boot the GOP out of the Mansfield Room. 'It is unlikely that Democrats would move into that room, ' said Ranit Schmelzer, Daschle's spokeswoman." But "some of Reid's Democratic colleagues are expected to 'encourage' him this week to give Nickles the boot from S-208 once Democrats officially take the majority reins, several Senate sources said."

Hillary Clinton Praises Jeffords' Party Switch. The Albany Times Union/AP (6/2) reported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "gave graduates at York College a civics lesson on Friday, using the example of Sen. James Jeffords' decision to bolt the Republican Party as proof that one person's vote can change government." Clinton said, "It says so much about how much one person can make a difference, simply by standing on principle and standing up for what he believes regardless of circumstance." Clinton's "commencement speech implored the graduates to become involved in the electoral process and took a gentle swipe at last year's presidential results." Clinton said, "I know that there may be good reasons for some of us to be a little discouraged about elections given the last election. But the worst thing we can do would be to say 'Well, I'm just never going to participate again.' That will only encourage those who don't want us to participate." The Times-Union added Sen. Charles Schumer "also spoke about the impact of Jeffords' party switch Friday during a commencement speech at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University." Schumer said, "With Democrats in the majority, we move one important step closer to adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, returning health insurance coverage to the forefront of the national agenda, and passing a real patients' bill of rights." The New York Daily News (6/3, El-Ghobashy) reported Clinton "praised Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords' decision to bolt the Republican Party, telling newly minted graduates yesterday that it proves every vote matters."