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“Are they going to have the numbers of conservative Democrats to put on the Armed Services Committee to where it does not become a political committee and keeps its bipartisanship?” he asked rhetorically.

“I think the tone for the next two years could be set on what happens in the lame-duck Congress,” Mr. Duncan said. “If you see the Democrats doing a whole lot of sneaky things, that’s going to make us respond in a certain way.”