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Washington Insight

May 10, 1993|PAUL HOUSTON

THE TWEEDLE TWINS: Although they ran as soul mates to capitalize on Year of the Woman hoopla, many expected Barbara Boxer to carve a more liberal profile in the Senate than her fellow California Democrat, Dianne Feinstein. But so far they have voted almost in lock step, splitting on only three issues in 116 Senate ballots. Feinstein supported giving line-item veto power to the President, while Boxer turned thumbs down. Feinstein also backed a bid by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to restore money to defense if inflation remains higher than forecast; Boxer voted no. On a lesser matter, Boxer favored creating an assistant secretary for American Indian lands in the proposed Department of Environment; Feinstein objected. But Tweedle-B and Tweedle-D have united on every other issue, including support of unpaid family and medical leave, jobless benefits extension, "motor voter" registration and Clinton's economic program. . . . That pattern marks a sharp change from the last two decades, when California's Democratic and Republican senators frequently canceled each other's votes.

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