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The Boston Globe

Nation

As clout fades, state delegation gets unity push

Rep. Neal, the next dean, stresses common interests

WASHINGTON — The clout of Massachusetts lawmakers may be near its lowest ebb. The state’s two senators have less combined seniority than any pair in the country. The House delegation, possibly the nation’s most liberal, holds even less sway within a chamber dominated by conservative Republicans.

Yet Representative Richard E. Neal, little known outside his base in Springfield, said he has a plan to protect the state’s interests in Congress as he prepares later this month to assume the role of delegation “dean,” a title given to the state’s longest tenured House member.

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