Two Democratic state senators in Washington defected from their caucus to hand control to Republicans.
Democratic Senators Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon said they will create a power-sharing coalition with the 23 Republican senators, which would give them a one-vote majority caucus in the 49-seat chamber.
“The public out there is hungry for us to come together, to work together in a collaborative manner, and that is exactly what this coalition is trying to accomplish,” said Tom during a news conference on Monday.
As part of the deal, Democrats and Republicans would chair six committees each and three committees would be split evenly and co-chaired by a member of each party.
The proposal has left some Democrats in the Senate frustrated since they will lose control of some of the top committees.
“Forcing half the chamber to accept a take-it-or-leave-it plan is not the way you foster collaboration, trust or respect,” said Democratic Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles in a statement Monday. “That’s a recipe for confrontation, not collaboration.”