2 parties' seemingly mismatched spending bosses team to make Washington work for a change

Associated Press + More

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the face of it, one of the most powerful pairings in Washington is a hopeless mismatch — a former social worker and liberal Democrat from Baltimore's working-class Fells Point neighborhood and an old-school, cigar-chomping GOP conservative raised in a dry county in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.

But in a bitterly divided Congress, the odd couple of Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Harold Rogers is a rare bipartisan success story.

Mikulski and Rogers are chiefly responsible for divvying up $1 trillion in federal spending as chairwoman the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairman of the same panel in the House. While their personal backgrounds could hardly be more different, their operating styles are remarkably similar.

Both are pragmatists in a Congress littered with ideologues. Neither minces words or tolerates foolishness. Both prefer deal-making to speechifying.

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