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A New Direction

The 110th Congress is making progress for the American people on the toughest challenges we face--working together to defend our country, restore accountability, grow our economy, strengthen our families, and preserve our planet.

Since January, more than 75 key measures have passed the House, with nearly 70 percent, receiving significant bipartisan support. In critical instances, the President and his Republican allies in Congress have stubbornly stood in the way of progress with two vetoes and 29 vetoes threatened.

The New Direction Congress is working to change course in Iraq. This war, now into its fifth year, has not made America safer, even as our troops have bravely performed their duties. This Congress continues to demand that President Bush and the Administration be held accountable, that the Iraqi government take responsibility for its own country, and that we responsibly bring this war to an end.

The New Direction Congress is protecting America--acting to finally make the work of the independent 9/11 Commission the law of the land. We are rebuilding our military readiness and requiring that we re-engage our diplomatic allies. We are honoring our troops and veterans with improved pay, services, and care they deserve. We are declaring our energy independence and working to reverse global warming.

The New Direction Congress is providing the keys to the American dream--investing in American ingenuity and innovation that will create millions of good jobs here at home. We are working to bring quality health care to every American child, and ensure that every child arrives at school ready to learn. We are making America's rural heartland a key to America's future
economic and energy security. We have changed the way we do business in Washington by restoring fiscal responsibility, government transparency, and the highest ethical standards to Congress.

These are the first of many steps in A NEW DIRECTION for a stronger and more secure America.

ACCOMPLISHED

  • First minimum wage increase in 10 years
  • \xef\x80\xa09/11 Commission recommendations to screen all air cargo and overseas port cargo, improving communications between first responders
  • Tough rules to establish highest ethical standards in Congressional history
  • Pay-as-you-go budget discipline restored to end six years of deficit spending
  • \xef\x80\xa0Fiscal discipline that produces a balanced budget by 2012
  • Emergency funding to support and equip troops, including tripling Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Iraq
  • Tighter rules against foreign investment that weaken national security, after the Dubai Ports scandal
  • Reduction of backlog on passports after 9/11 requirement through hiring boost
  • Benchmarks and progress report required on Iraq
  • Emergency assistance to protect children's health coverage
  • Overdue disaster aid to farmers and ranchers
  • Overdue hurricane aid to rebuild Gulf Coast housing, hospitals, schools, and levees
  • Emergency funding to fight wildfires
  • U.S. Attorney appointments protected from political influence
  • Vigorous Congressional oversight restored after six years, saving billions of taxpayer dollars, exposing corruption and incompetence
  • Green the Capitol plan launched to cut carbon footprint 50%
  • National Summit on America's Children to align policies with latest science


ON PRESIDENT'S DESK FOR APPROVAL

  • Most sweeping lobby and ethics reform in a generation, hailed by reform groups as 'landmark reform' and 'a sea of change'
  • A comprehensive Innovation and Competitiveness agenda to double basic research & development and reinvest in math and science education

HEADED FOR PRESIDENT'S DESK FOR APPROVAL

  • Key Flood Control and Waterway Restoration Re-investment, including for Gulf Coast

PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE

  • Largest expansion of college aid since GI Bill
  • Health coverage for 6 million children protected and millions more eligible children to enroll
  • New quality care standards for wounded military personnel
  • Energy Independence initiative to promote clean American renewable fuels and energy efficiency, and to reduce global warming
  • 3.5% military pay raise, larger than President's proposal
  • Head Start preschool improved and expanded
  • Reform of unethical practices by student loan industry
  • Authorizing prosecution of gas price gouging and OPEC price fixing
  • Sweeping reform of prescription drug safety

PASSED HOUSE

  • Largest increase for veterans' health care in history
  • Major new investments in equipment and training for troops to meet the worst readiness crisis since the Vietnam War
  • 3,000 new border patrol agents, tougher aviation and port security funded
  • Farm Bill for 21st century shifts priorities to family farmers, crop diversity, nutrition, and biofuels
  • Clean, renewable energy spurred with $3 billion investment
  • Incentives for small business innovation to compete globally
  • Federal small business loans made more affordable
  • Small businesses guaranteed fair access to federal contracts
  • Voter deception made a federal crime, voter intimidation penalties increased
  • Seniors' access to doctors protected
  • Discrimination based on genetics banned in health care
  • Safe drinking water efforts expanded
  • 50,000 new police officers on the street
  • Background checks for gun purchases improved nationwide
  • Collective bargaining rights allowed for public safety officers nationwide
  • Protection for employees who suffer pay discrimination based on sex, race, or age
  • D.C. voting rights in Congress
  • Government contracting reformed to stop waste, fraud, and abuse
  • Whistleblower protections strengthened
  • Public access to Presidential records restored
  • \xef\x80\xa0Public access to government strengthened through Freedom of Information Act reforms
  • Members of Congress barred from putting spouses on campaign payrolls
  • Shareholders given a vote on excessive executive pay


VETOED BY PRESIDENT OVER WILL OF PEOPLE

  • Timetables to responsibly redeploy troops from Iraq
  • Expansion of life-saving medical research on stem cells


BLOCKED BY SENATE REPUBLICANS

  • Rotation out of war zone requirement for strained troops
  • Free choice for workers to bargain for better wages and benefits
  • Medicare required to negotiate cheaper prescription drugs

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