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Thread: Democratic Congress: first 100 hours!

  1. #1
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Wink Democratic Congress: first 100 hours!

    The first item on the House Democrats' '100 hours' legislative agenda -- a measure to implement recommendations of the 9/11 commission -- passes 299-128.

    CNN.com

  2. #2
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Yes. And they started by taking a day off. Yippee. Why can't Bush?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Look what else they did!!!!

    '100 hours': House passes minimum wage increase

    Story Highlights
    •NEW: Democratically-controlled House passes wage hike 315-116
    •Bill would raise minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over 26 months
    •Organized labor says bill will aid poor
    •Federal minimum wage last went up in 1997, the longest stretch without increase



    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic-controlled House voted Wednesday to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, bringing America's lowest-paid workers a crucial step closer to their first raise in a decade.

    The vote was 315-116, with 82 Republicans joining Democrats to pass it.

    "You should not be relegated to poverty if you work hard and play by the rules," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland. (Watch how the lowest earners will get their raises)

    The bill was the second measure passed since Democrats took control of the House, ending more than a decade of Republican rule. (Interactive: House Democrats' '100 Hour' agenda)

    The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would raise the federal wage floor by $2.10 from its current $5.15 an hour in three steps over 26 months. (Interactive: Minimum wage laws by state)

    The last increase was in 1997, when President Clinton successfully prodded the GOP-controlled Congress to enact the increase. Republicans declined to approve another raise for the six years in which they held majorities in the House and Senate and President Bush was in the White House.

    Organized labor and other supporters pitched the bill as badly needed assistance for the working poor.

    Business groups and other critics said it could lead to higher prices for goods and services, force small companies to pink-slip existing workers or hire fewer new ones, and crimp profits.

    The White House issued a statement saying it opposed the bill because it "fails to provide relief to small businesses."

    Senate Democratic leaders have already signaled they will accept changes designed to shield small businesses from adverse consequences of higher labor costs.

    "This bill increases costs for mom-and-pop businesses," said Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, contending the legislation doesn't do anything to help offset that burden. (STFU A-hole! the last ppl you care about are mom and pop businesses! )

    Many businesses want the pot sweetened, perhaps by faster depreciation or other tax breaks or letting small businesses band together to buy health insurance for their workers.

    The bill would raise the wage floor in three steps. It would go to $5.85 an hour 60 days after signed into law by the president, to $6.55 a year later and to $7.25 a year after that.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


    Find this article at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/....ap/index.html

  4. #4
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    damn good job they did; I'd say! now lets hope the Prez doesn't fuck it all up with his power of veto

    House completes '100 hour' legislation package
    Story Highlights
    • Passage of bill to restore oil royalties completes "must-do" list
    • Democrats' bill face tougher road in Senate
    • Bills must still get Bush's signature
    • Senate approves new ethics regulations


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats, still riding high from their election sweep, were celebrating successes with House completion of their "100 hour" legislative blitz and Senate passage of major ethics and lobbying reform.

    From now, however, running Congress with small majorities and a Republican in the White House becomes a little harder.

    House Democrats, eager to get going after 12 years in the minority, wrapped up their two-week, must-do agenda Thursday by voting to recoup billions of dollars in lost royalties from oil and gas companies and roll back some industry tax breaks.

    The bill, passed 264-163, also sets a conservation fee on oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Also finished in the "100 hour" stretch, which took 87 hours in real legislative time, were bills to raise the federal minimum wage, implement port security measures and other recommendations of the 9/11 commission, expand embryonic stem cell research, give Medicare authority to negotiate lower prescription drug costs and cut interest rates on student loans.

    "Today, Democrats stood united to say that we have kept our promise to the American people," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

    In the Senate, where the will of the minority must be heeded and the pace is far slower, lawmakers voted 96-2 for a far-reaching ethics and lobbying bill that will end the practices of lobbyists giving gifts and travel to senators and require lobbyists to be more open about their activities while making senators more accountable for the pet projects they sneak into bills.

    It was the first major piece of legislation in the new Democratic-controlled Senate. It almost died Wednesday when Republicans balked at Democratic refusal to give them a vote on a proposal allowing the president, with congressional approval, to cherrypick for elimination specific spending items in bills.

    The impasse was broken only when Democrats agreed that the modified line-item veto proposal can be introduced when the Senate takes up its minimum wage bill on Monday.

    On Friday the House is considering a bill to better protect teenage pages. The scandal involving salacious electronic messages sent by former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, to former pages gave impetus to the Democratic campaign to clean up the "culture of corruption" in Washington.

    As smooth as the first two weeks went for House Democrats, the labors of legislation are certain to become more difficult in the future.

    In the coming weeks, there are certain to be confrontations with the White House over resolutions critical of President Bush's policies in Iraq. Democrats, committed to holding the line on spending while determined to bolster money for health and education, must grapple with the budget proposals the White House will deliver to Congress.

    The only veto of the Bush presidency was over an embryonic stem cell bill, and he has promised to repeat that if another stem cell bill hits his desk. The prescription drug bill could also face a presidential veto.

    It's uncertain whether some of the other House-passed bills will ever get that far.

    Senate Republicans insisted that a minimum wage hike must be linked to an $8.3 billion package of tax breaks for small businesses. Senate Democrats are amenable, but it is unclear if House Democrats will go along.

    The Senate is also looking at an education bill that goes beyond the interest-rate cuts in the House bill, complicating a compromise.

    If the partisan friction were not enough, both parties face internal conflicts as well.

    Several House and Senate Republicans have objected to Bush's troop boosting plan for Iraq. Two Republican senators -- Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine -- have signed on to a nonbinding resolution opposing the insertion of 21,500 new troops into the war.

    Democrats are divided themselves, unable to agree on how to express their opposition to Bush. Some prefer a nonbinding resolution, while others in the House and Senate want more muscular legislation specifically limiting Bush's ability to act on his strategy.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


    Find this article at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/....ap/index.html

  5. #5
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Fuck Bush, no president ought to have a power of veto over anything congress and the senate pass.

    In fact, do away with the presidency altogether as a decision making body. He can be ceremonial and do all the hobnobbing crap.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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