Inside Report (5)

Is this really Washington? Can this be happening? Republicans may celebrate their Senate takeover in January by dismantling part of their newly won empire.

In closed-door strategy sessions, GOP leaders are considering cuts in the number of senators on various committees, as well as trims in staff support and other bureaucratic overhead.

The idea is to produce leaner, more responsive committees. But skeptics question whether the cutback could weaken the Senate relative to the still-Democratic House.

The proposed slash of 10 percent in the staff payroll and other housekeeping services would save taxpayers $20 million next year.m

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