Thursday, January 04, 2007

The First 100 Hours

House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and her top aides have outlined a full agenda for Democrats' first 100 legislative hours in power, starting after members of the 110th Congress are sworn in today. Pelosi has vowed to complete work on those items before President Bush delivers his State of the Union address on Jan. 23.

Today and tomorrow

Ethics and lobbying reform, including ban on gifts and travel paid for by lobbying organizations, and a requirement that all privately funded travel be pre-approved by the House Ethics Committee.

Earmark reform, including a requirement that House members publicly acknowledge special projects they are seeking.

"Pay-as-you-go" budgeting, requiring any increase in spending to be offset with a revenue enhancement or budget cut.

Week of Jan. 8

Enact 9/11 Commission recommendations, including enhanced cargo screening and ensuring better communication among first responders to emergencies.

Increase the federal minimum wage, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour.

Expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, overriding the president's restrictions on such funding.

Permit Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, to bring potentially lower prices to program participants.

Week of Jan. 15

Cut student loan interest rates in half.

Repeal tax cuts for big oil companies, to create a pool to fund renewable energy initiatives.