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GOP Rejects Dems’ Bid for Virginia Senate Committee Shuffle

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    Chances for a bipartisan accord by Thursday's deadline on a Virginia Senate version of the budget are bleak after Senate Republicans dismissed a Democratic proposal to reshuffle Senate committees in exchange for the necessary votes.

    The dispute is fallout from a partisan fight over power sharing in an evenly split Senate where Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cast a bitterly disputed tie-breaking 21st vote that gave the GOP the majority.

    Senate Democratic Leaders Dick Saslaw and Don McEachin on Friday proposed Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, with Republicans chairing all other committees.

    In a stinging rejection, Senate Republican Leader Tommy Norment said he won't “link the budget to partisan, political pressures” and would consider Democratic votes against the budget to be “deliberate obstructionist behavior.”