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Will Pres. Bush Break Ranks to Work With Dems?

With a Democratic majority set to take control of both Congress and the Senate, the possibility of a clash with President George W. Bush on issues like taxes, trade and health care – and the war in Iraq – is highly likely. But there is one issue on which the president may break ranks with his party to work with the Dems.

U.S. News and World Report Chief White House Correspondent Ken Walsh was on “Power Lunch,” and he says President Bush’s proposed reform of immigration laws and the guest worker program may be realized with a Democratic Congress. This would put the president at odds with the conservative wing of the Republican Party, but since he’s not running for reelection, he may be more willing to compromise with the opposition.

BusinessWeek White House Correspondent Rick Dunham was on the show as well. As he points out, the White House and Democratic lawmakers will still have plenty to argue about. And issues like closing the price gap for medications in Medicare, possible tax increases to pay for the war in Iraq, and repealing tax breaks for oil companies could force President Bush to use his veto power.

The Dems might have some disagreements within their own ranks, for that matter. Walsh noted that while Democrats have been vocal about their new business-friendly perspective, some of the newly elected representatives and senators have a protectionist streak in them. So questions remain as to whether the Democrats’ intentions will come to pass.

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

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