THE CONGRESS: Return of King Caucus

Liberal rank-and-file Democrats in the House of Representatives had long been seething at the independence and aloofness of some of the chamber's committee chairmen. So too had House Speaker Carl Albert and Majority Leader Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill. With the election of 75 new Democratic Congressmen in November, the pressures for change mounted. But when they finally burst the restraints of tradition last week, the results were astonishing. For the House, that glacially sluggish institution, it amounted to a revolution.

The forum for revolt was the House Democratic Caucus, which consists of all 291 Democrats who will begin new terms...

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