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Trade dispute exposes House Democrats' turmoil, challenges

WASHINGTON — Congress' upheaval over trade has exposed lots of turmoil within the House Democratic caucus.

It's a caucus that's grown smaller and more liberal in recent years as moderates have lost their seats.

Those Democrats who remain must answer to ideologically driven voters and to labor unions fighting their own battles for survival.

The result is a caucus dominated by some of its most liberal members. The remaining centrists are left to wonder whether that'll make it harder for their party to regain the House majority anytime in the next decade.

The tea party wing of the Republican Party has pulled the entire GOP to the right and hampered attempts at compromise on Capitol Hill. Some now fear a similar dynamic is taking shape on the left.