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House Minority Leader Gephardt Touches on Senator Jeffords' Party Switch

Aired May 23, 2001 - 10:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: There's word that Jim Jeffords, a senator from Vermont, may be changing teams.

Here's now is House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: ... for rebuilding school buildings and for training special students, through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act program. That was his main dispute. That dispute put him in disfavor with the White House and with the Republican Party. That's a sad comment on what is, really, supposed to be bipartisanship. It's obviously that there's no room for moderates in today's inside-the-beltway Republican Party. That to me is a sad comment on the state of the modern Republican Party.

On the floor of the house, today, we are debating an education reform bill that has bipartisan support. As part of that debate, Democrats are trying to beat back a number of amendments that we believe will take money away from failing schools and reduce the commitment of resources schools need to improve themselves.

At the same time, we're trying...

HARRIS: We cut away to listen to the words of House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to see if we'd hear some word from him about the pending announcement from Senator Jim Jeffords that he would be switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. We did not hear that at that moment.

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