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Blue Dogs Add Three Members to Ranks

Leaders of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition announced Wednesday that they are adding three lawmakers to their ranks, a decision that comes as they prepare to lose three long-standing members to retirement.All three of the group’s newest members are freshmen: Reps. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.). A Blue Dog spokeswoman said the group has been talking with them “for many months now,— and the process to bring them on board began well before retirement announcements in recent weeks by some of their key members.So far, Blue Dogs planning to retire in 2010 include Reps. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.). Tanner was a founder of the group; Moore is a former leader.“I look forward to working together in the coming year as we continue our fight for statutory [pay-as-you-go rules], as well as a strong fiscal reform commission,— Blue Dog Co-Chairman Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said in a statement.

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