The leaders of the incoming Democratic Congress are already taking steps to ensure that the party maintains its majority in 2008. The NY Times reports:
The 110th Congress has not even been sworn into office. But in a measure of the determination not to surrender the majority in two years, Representative Nancy Pelosi, the presumptive speaker, has instructed aides to begin acting immediately to help Democrats who won by small margins in districts where President Bush did well in 2004 or who coasted in because their opponents were mired by controversy. Those new members are methodically being given coveted spots on high-profile committees, in particular the Financial Services Committee, a magnet for campaign contributions, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, a platform from which to send money for projects back home.
Their names will be affixed as co-sponsors atop big-ticket measures on ethics and stem cell research that are to be voted on in the first 100 hours of the new Congress, Democratic leaders said.