Senator Carper Casts First Vote for Compromise, Delivers First Floor Speech to Urge Passage of Power-Sharing Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – In his first speech from the Senate floor, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) today urged his colleagues to vote for an unprecedented power-sharing agreement between Republicans and Democrats. "The agreement that’s been struck is of real consequence for our nation," Carper said in his third day as a Senator. "Instead of taking action, we could have spent much of this month arguing about the size of the negotiating table and who would sit around it. We’re not going to be doing that. We’re going to take up the business of the people who sent us here." Under the agreement, Republicans would retain the Chairmanships of each Senate committee but committees would have an equal number of Republican and Democrat members. On every committee, each party will be granted equal size office space, the opportunity for equal staff, and equal resources. "When the American people voted to elect 50 Democrats and 50 Republican Senators they did not vote for gridlock. When they voted almost equally for Al Gore and George Bush, they did not vote for gridlock," Carper said. "This may be the triumph of man’s hope over experience but this agreement gives us hope that we can find common ground in other areas, too. There’s hope we can find agreement on campaign finance reform, on ways to reduce our nation’s debt, how we can actually cut some taxes, and to provide prescription assistance for our seniors."