Lott To Succeed Dole as Majority Leader

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: New Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, elected Wednesday, insists that he will concentrate first on filling Bob Dole's shoes, rather than changing the style of the Senate: "Our agenda will be the same as Bob Dole laid out for us." Lott, whose manner is tougher than Dole's, reassured reporters after the Senate vote that he will not set a more combative tone in his chamber. TIME's James Carney reports: "Even though Lott retains close ties to the House, especially to Newt Gingrich who studied at his knee, he has become wise to the ways of the Senate." Following today's vote, Oklahoma Senator Don Nickles will succeed Lott as the majority whip. Carney notes that Lott's election to the position of majority leader will not significantly affect Senate legislation until after the elections. "Until November he will stick with the Dole agenda, moving appropriations bills through the Senate," says Carney. "The only change is that the Kennedy-Kassebaum health bill is less likely to pass after Dole's departure." Lott supports a controversial measure that would add Medical Savings Accounts to the health legislation. Democrats strongly disagree with the savings provision, saying it would raise premiums for the sick and poor. "Dole cut a deal the last day in the Senate and tried to make it happen," reports Carney. "But Kennedy is not on board now and the bill is in jeopardy." -->