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8:58 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Oklahoma GOP Leaders Wrangle with Growing Caucuses

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Fueled by tea party enthusiasm and bitter opposition to President Obama, Oklahoma voters in November pushed Republican control of the statehouse to historic levels.

Armed now with veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, Republican leaders will continue pushing their pro-business agenda while wrangling with increasingly conservative GOP caucuses that are determined to exert state's rights and reject federal mandates.

For the legislative session that begins on Monday, Republicans enjoy a 72-29 advantage in the House and a 36-12 majority in the Senate.

New House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman both downplay any suggestion of a divided caucus, but it's clear the increased majorities come with a broader spectrum of political ideology.