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The major regulatory policy battles of 2011 are following a pattern that’s become familiar when each party controls one body in Congress. The House of Representatives has approved bills that would delay or overrule agency regulatory initiatives. In the Senate, leadership has cobbled together blocking minorities of 40 votes to filibuster repeal legislation to death. These deregulatory measures, however, can be revived on multiple occasions as other “must pass” legislation is considered. The Obama Administration may well have to make repeated commitments to cut spending to preserve the impasse in the Senate.

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