Democratic leaders said their demand for more power in the evenly divided Senate is not an issue in budget negotiations with Republicans, who have working control of the chamber.

“I think it’s fair to say that the discussions about power-sharing — which is really policy-sharing — continue,” said Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico County, the chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I don’t foresee the budget being an issue where that’s concerned.”

We will have to see whether McEachin truly means what he says. But I do appreciate the language twist he’s now employing. “Power” is such a strong word. And it’s not exactly the kind of nurturing, moving forward-ish sort of term that plays well with focus groups. “Policy,” though — that’s just about as bland and non-threatening a term as can be. Pair it with “sharing” and you’ve got a potential winner. Or at least the theme of an episode of “Barney and Friends.”

There are greater problems for House and Senate negotiators, though, than simply having Democrats willing to appear to talk. As House negotiator Del. Kirk Cox told us over the weekend on “The Score” radio show:

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.