The Floor Is My Domain

How Howard Baker holds a cantankerous Senate together

It was the night of Nov. 21, and in one hour the Government would go out of business if the necessary appropriation bill was not passed. In the Senate cloakroom, Majority Leader Howard Baker was trying to put together enough votes for a continuing resolution that would keep programs funded through the fiscal year. Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, who objected to proposed increases for defense spending, threatened to filibuster. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the Republican whip, began shouting at Levin. When Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn tried to intercede, Stevens turned his wrath on him....

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