THE CONGRESS: Sharp Touch with a Wedge

As Republicans fretted and fumed about their party's budget split, a Democrat with a wedge stayed behind the scenes, prying and jimmying for hours on end with the sharpest touch in politics. He was Texas' Lyndon Baines Johnson, 48, majority leader of the U.S. Senate, who has been so successful in exploiting G.O.P. troubles that he has almost hidden his own party's more basic division.

During the early weeks of the $71.8 billion budget brawl, Lyndon kept himself uncommitted, heckled the Republicans from the sidelines while awaiting answers to a budget questionnaire that he had mailed out to 39,000 Texans....

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