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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.

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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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