WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuando el Congreso inicie la nueva legislatura en enero, habrá un mayor número de mujeres, muchos rostros nuevos y once menos republicanos respaldados por el tea party de los que fueron elegidos en el 2010 y que no lograron un segundo mandato.

La mayor preocupación entre todos esos cambios es la reducción del número de veteranos legisladores pragmáticos centristas en ambos partidos. Entre los que dejan sus cargos estaban los legisladores más pragmáticos del Senado, casi la mitad de los demócratas centristas y varios republicanos moderados de la Cámara de Representantes.

Ese hecho podría dejar a los partidos más polarizados que nunca en momentos en que el presidente Barack Obama y los líderes del Congreso conversan sobre la cooperación necesaria para contrarrestar los complejos y graves problemas como la reducción del déficit, reorganización de las leyes tributarias y selección de posibles recortes a populares programas como Medicare y otros.

"Este desplazamiento lejos del centro, en momentos en que los asuntos tienen que ser resueltos en término medio, hace mucho más difícil hallar soluciones para problemas urgentes", dijo William Hoagland, primer vicepresidente del Centro de Política Bipartidista, un grupo privado defensor de los compromisos.

LEE LOS COMENTARIOS A ESTA NOTA Y AGREGA EL TUYO


En el Senado, un republicano moderado Scott Brown, de Massachussetts, perdió ante la demócrata Elizabeth Warren, quien es uno de los miembros más liberales. Otro republicano moderado Richard Lugar de Indiana perdió las elecciones primarias de su partido. Otras dos republicanas, Kay Bailey Hutchison de Texas y Olympia Snowe de Maine, se retiraron.


Otros dos senados demócratas moderados, Kent Conrad de Dakota del Norte, Herb Kohl de Wisconsin, Ben Nelson de Nebraska, Jim Webb de Virginia también dejan sus cargos, al igual que el independiente Joe Lieberman, que votaba con los demócratas.


Mientras que la mitad de los nuevos 12 senadores de ambos partidos es moderado, entre los nuevos miembros figuran, Ted Cruz de Texas, republicano apoyado por el tea party, la conservadora Deb Fischer de Nebraska, y las liberales Tammy Baldwin de Wisconsin y Mazie Hirono de Hawai.


El patrón es similar en la Cámara de Representantes, donde 10 de los 24 demócratas conservadores se han jubilado o en el caso del representante Joe Donnelly, de Indiana, ascenderá al Senado. Eso contribuirá a reducir más a un grupo moderado que hace unos cuantos años tenían más de 50 miembros, aunque algunos novatos podrían aunarse.


Entre los republicanos moderados, la representante Judy Biggert de Illinois y su colega Charles Bass de Nueva Hampshire, fueron derrotados mientras que los representantes Jerry Lewis de California y Steven LaTourette de Ohio, decidieron jubilarse.


"El Congreso parece que se va en la dirección opuesta al país, justo cuando el país grita en pos de soluciones al estancamiento", destacó el estratega demócrata Phil Singer.


El que los cambios sean buenos a menudo es cuestión de opinión.


Setenta y uno de los 83 nuevos republicanos elegidos en el 2010 para la Cámara de Representantes fueron reelegidos el 6 de noviembre, pero 11 perdieron, entre ellos uno de los más destacados del grupo, el representante Allen West de la Florida. Otro enfrenta una contienda electoral en diciembre.


"Algunos de los que se consideran los ideólogos contra el gobierno, se han marchado", destacó la líder de la minoría demócrata en la Cámara de Representantes, Nancy Pelosi, de California. "Y ese mensaje ha sido rechazado por el pueblo estadounidense", añadió.


Sal Russo, estratega del Tea Party Express, afirmó que los que han salido serán sopesados por los nuevos conservadores elegidos, entre ellos, Cruz en el Senado y los representantes electos Ted Yoho de la Florida y Mark Meadows de Carolina del Norte.


"Casi todos los que postularon en el 2012 hablaron de los problemas económicos que enfrentamos, detener el gasto excesivo y controlar la deuda insostenible", agregó.


En total, la nueva Cámara de Representantes tiene una mayoría republicana de 234-201, un menor margen del saliente con una actual ventaja de 242-193, que incluye cinco vacantes. Los demócratas controlarán el Senado, 55-45, con mayor número del previo, 53-47.


Una docena de los 100 senadores y por lo menos 81 de los 435 miembros de la cámara, ejercerán su primer mandato legislativo ligeramente en mayor número en el pasado. The Associated Press aún no ha anunciado a los ganadores de dos contiendas de la cámara.


Muchos de los recién llegados a Washington para participar en sesiones de orientación después de ser elegidos, mencionaron la necesidad de llegar a compromisos. Algunos también dejaron en claro que habrá mucho combustible para enfrentamientos bipartidistas.


"Voy con amplia disposición", comentó el conservador representante electo Roger Williams, republicano de Texas. "Pero tengo ciertos principios como todos y no voy a conciliar en eso", agregó.


En total, habrá 73 mujeres en la Cámara de Representantes y 20 en el Senado. En ambos casos se trata de número sin precedente.


Asimismo por primera vez, más de la mitad de los demócratas de la cámara, 105 en este caso, no son hombres blancos.


Un hombre blanco será el representante electo Joseph Kennedy, demócrata de Massachusetts, hijo del ex representante del mismo estado Joe Kennedy, y nieto del senador de Nueva York y candidato presidencial demócrata asesinado, Robert Kennedy. Cuando el nuevo Kennedy asuma el cargo pondrá fin a los dos únicos años desde 1947 en que un miembro de su familia no estuvo en el Congreso.


Entre los que dejan el Congreso hay varios que han tenido posiciones centristas en las batallas políticas de años recientes.


Entre ellos están, el senador republicano Jon Kyl de Arizona, número dos de su partido en el Senado, y Lugar, de Indiana, un importante republicano en política exterior; Conrad de Dakota del Norte, presidente del presupuesto en el Senado y enemigo de los déficits presupuestarios, y el demócrata Jeff Bingaman, de Nuevo México, que dirigió las comisiones de energía y recursos naturales en el Senado.


En la Cámara de Representantes se ausentarán los demócratas de California, Pete Stark, con gran fuerza en asuntos de salud, y Howard Berman, influyente en asuntos exteriores, además del liberal de Massachusetts, Barney Frank, cuyo apellido ha quedado perennizado en la ley de reforma financiera mediante la cual el gobierno regula a los bancos y a otras instituciones financieras.


Asimismo se marchan: el republicano que preside la comisión de normas de la Cámara de Representantes, David Dreier, de California, y Ron Paul, de 77 años, que trazó su política libertaria en el Congreso y aspiró a la candidatura presidencial republicana en el 2008 y 2012.


"El estatu quo prevalecerá", destacó Paul, quien afirma que hay poca diferencia entre los dos partidos políticos, al referirse al nuevo Congreso. Y sobre su partida, agregó: "Nadie lo notará".

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    A voter prepares to cast her vote in the US presidential election November 6, 2012 at a polling station in Chicago, Illinois. The final national polls showed an effective tie, with either US President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney favored by a single point in most surveys, reflecting the polarized politics of a deeply divided nation. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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    MANCHESTER, NH - NOVEMBER 6: Voters cast their ballots at the Bishop Leo O'Neil Youth Center on November 6, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The swing state of New Hampshire is recognised to be a hotly contested battleground that offers 4 electoral votes, as recent polls predict that the race between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney remains tight. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION

    Citizens wait in line to vote in the US presidential election November 6, 2012 at a polling station in a senior appartment complex in Chicago, Illinois. The final national polls showed an effective tie, with either US President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney favored by a single point in most surveys, reflecting the polarized politics of a deeply divided nation. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • U.S. Citizens Head To The Polls To Vote In Presidential Election

    MANCHESTER, NH - NOVEMBER 6: Voters cast their ballots at the Bishop Leo O'Neil Youth Center on November 6, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The swing state of New Hampshire is recognised to be a hotly contested battleground that offers 4 electoral votes, as recent polls predict that the race between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney remains tight. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

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    Voters cast their ballots at the Stonewall Middle School November 6, 2012 in Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia. After a long and bitter White House campaign, Americans began casting their votes on Tuesday with polls showing President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney neck-and-neck in an election that will be decided in a handful of states. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION

    Citizens wait in line to vote in the US presidential election November 6, 2012 at a polling station in a senior appartment complex in Chicago, Illinois. The final national polls showed an effective tie, with either US President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney favored by a single point in most surveys, reflecting the polarized politics of a deeply divided nation. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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