You are here

Major Legislative Priorities of the New Direction Congress Signed Into Law

Soon to be added to this list:
Historic energy legislation, including the first congressionally mandated increase in fuel efficiency standards in 32 years - click here to learn more.      

ENACTING THE 9/11 COMMISSIONS RECOMMENDATIONS - MAKING AMERICA SAFER FROM TERRORISM

On August 1st, Congress sent one of the most critical bills of the 110th Congress to the President's desk--H.R. 1, Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The first bill passed by the new Democratic-led Congress, H.R. 1 is strong, comprehensive legislation that will make America safer from terrorism by finally enacting the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. The bill was signed into law by the President on August 3rd.      

THE FIRST MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN 10 YEARS -BENEFITING 13 MILLION AMERICANS
In May, the House increased the minimum wage for the first time in almost a decade. The previous Republican-controlled Congresses blocked minimum wage proposals from being considered. In 2006 alone, Republicans blocked minimum wage legislation from coming to a vote 11 times. The President signed this bill into law on May 25th and the first pay raise for working Americans in almost 10 years went into effect on July 24th.     

INNOVATION AGENDA - ENSURING AMERICA'S CONTINUED LEADERSHIP IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
On August 2nd, the House passed The America COMPETES Act to increase investment in math and science education, boost technology, research and development. This new law ensures American students, teachers, businesses, and workers are prepared to continue leading the world in innovation, research, and technology well into the future. The President signed this bill into law on August 9th.        

MAKING COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE - LARGEST INVESTMENT SINCE THE GI BILL

On September 7th, the House passed The College Cost Reduction and Access Act making the largest increase in college aid since the GI Bill in 1944, boosting college aid by roughly $20 million dollars over the next five years. The President signed this bill into law on September 27th.      

REAUTHORIZATION OF HEAD START - THE FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS

On November 14th, the House overwhelmingly passed the joint House-Senate conference report on Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act by a vote of 381 to 36. This legislation will reinvigorate Head Start and help more children arrive at school with the tools necessary to succeed. The President signed this bill into law on December 12th.      

LANDMARK LOBBY & ETHICS REFORM - BREAKING THE LINK BETWEEN LOBBYISTS & LEGISLATORS

On July 31st, the House passed the Honest Leadership, Open Government Act which provides an unprecedented level of disclosure on the interactions between lobbyists and legislators. This is tough legislation that ends the culture of corruption, and restores accountability in Washington. The President signed this bill into law on September 14th.      

CRITICAL RELIEF TO GULF COAST STATES RAVAGED BY HURRICANES KATRINA & RITA

In May the House passed a $6.4 billion Gulf Coast Recovery Package including $1.3 billion to repair and complete key levee protection and flood control projects in Louisiana, $1.35 billion in Community Disaster Loan forgiveness; $4.3 billion in FEMA disaster recovery grants and $550 million in Social Services Block Grant funding to meet the health care needs of the region. The President signed this bill into law on May 25th.