Friday, January 19, 2007

Dems Beat the Clock

Only two weeks after taking power and with 13 hours to spare, the House passed the last of the "Six for '06" bills that Democrats promised to deliver within the first 100 legislative hours upon assuming power. The bills passed by the House as part of the 100-hour agenda would:
  • Slap a "conservation fee" on oil and gas taken from deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico; scrap nearly $6 billion worth of oil industry tax breaks enacted by Congress in recent years; and use the money instead to fund renewable resources. Passed Thursday. Speaker Pelosi is also creating a House panel on global warming.
  • Lower interest rates on federally subsidized student loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent in stages over five years. Passed Wednesday.
  • Make the government bargain directly with drug companies with the aim of reducing prices of prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries. Passed Jan. 12.
  • Expand government-financed embryonic stem cell research. Passed Jan. 11.
  • Raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over 26 months. Passed Jan. 10.
  • Bolster terrorism-fighting efforts with more cargo inspections. Passed Jan. 9.
  • Democrats also won approval of internal House rule changes dealing with ethics, lobbying and budgeting. They were passed on Jan. 4-5. (Today they also passed much-needed new rules dealing with House pages!)
Now the Senate also approved the ethics reforms today, and a path has been cleared for the minimum wage increase and student loan interest rate cut. However, Bush is expected to veto the stem cell research funding, Medicare Part D reform, and cuts to oil and gas subsidies once they reach his desk. Still, 3 out of 3 ain't bad, especially when naysayers have been saying for awhile that it would be difficult for Democrats to pass anything. Furthermore, many Republicans decided to vote for many of these bills as well. The Democrats are just simply better at this...

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

That was a damn fine 100 hours I say. Already, the Dems have done more that the Republicans have done in years for the betterment of this country.