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Chastened by electoral reverses and plunging popularity, congressional Republicans are reaching out to the Clinton administration to find compromise solutions to problems that would have been untouchable at the height of the impeachment controversy.

Having failed to remove Clinton from office, GOP lawmakers are expressing optimism that they can find common cause with the White House on issues such as Social Security, taxes and national defense. And in a striking departure from the recent past, many rank-and-file Republicans appear to be abandoning ideological confrontation in favor of a newfound pragmatism.

“A lot of Republicans have been changed by being slapped in the face a couple of times,” said Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.). “We’re a fairly solid force now, and the pure ideologues are fewer in number.”

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