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New Direction Congress Has A Record of Bipartisan Accomplishments

In 2006, the American people called for a change - a change in the direction of the Congress and the country.  They wanted their leaders to change the way we do business in Washington, break the partisan gridlock, and get things done for the American people.   The Democratic leadership of the 110th Congress has responded - working to develop pragmatic solutions that have not just the support of Democrats, but many Republicans and most Americans.

With the Democrats united and with a strong demand for change throughout the country, most of the mainstream, common-sense legislative proposals brought to the House Floor over the last 18 months have won strong bipartisan majorities.  On issue after issue and vote after vote, support has been notably broad.  Although there are key issues where common ground has not been found and progress has been stalled, the House Democratic Leadership will continue governing in a responsible manner - working with all Members to move America in a New Direction.

Below are some of the major accomplishments of the Democratic-led House over the last 18 months, with the bipartisan support noted in each case.

Economic Recovery

Recovery Rebates to jumpstart economy, help Americans with rising costs. SIGNED INTO LAW. (Passed by bipartisan vote of 380-34, with 165 Republicans voting YEA).

Extended unemployment benefits for 3.8 million Americans. ON WAY TO PRESIDENT'S DESK. (Passed by bipartisan vote of 416-12, with 186 Republicans voting YEA).

First increase in the minimum wage in a decade.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 315-116, with 82 Republicans voting YEA.)

Highway Bill, creating 40,000 good-paying jobs.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 358-51, with 138 Republicans voting YEA.)

Farm Bill, with historic new investments in nutrition, energy, and conservation.  VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 306-110, with 90 Republicans voting YEA.)


Housing Foreclosure Crisis

Comprehensive housing foreclosure crisis bill, preventing families from losing their homes, and a critical step in an American economic recovery.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by  vote of 266-154, with 39 Republicans voting YEA.)

Reform of the Federal Housing Administration, expanding access to affordable mortgages.  PASSED  HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 348-72, with 123 Republicans voting YEA.)

Strengthening regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and raising their loan limits to increase liquidity in the mortgage market.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 313-104, with 90 Republicans voting YEA.)

Stopping tax on “income” when lender forgives part of mortgage in foreclosure.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous voice vote.)


Education and Competitiveness

Largest college aid expansion since the GI Bill in 1944, including cutting the interest rate on subsidized federal student loans in half.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 292-97, with 77 Republicans voting YEA.)

Ensuring continued access to low-cost student loans, despite the credit crunch.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 388-21, with 167 Republicans voting YEA.)

Giving colleges incentives to rein in tuition increases.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 354-58, with 135 Republicans voting YEA.)

Innovation Agenda, creating a math/science teacher corps; doubling research funding.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 367-57, with 143 Republicans voting YEA.)

Head Start improved and expanded.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 381-36, with 154 Republicans voting YEA.)

Reducing Taxes

A tax cut for 19 million middle-income families facing the Alternative Minimum Tax.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 352-64, with 195 Republicans voting YEA.)

Internet tax moratorium extension.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous vote of 402-0, with 181 Republicans voting YEA.)


Affordable Health Care

Ban on genetic information discrimination in health coverage.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 414-1, with 188 Republicans voting YEA.)

Blocking $18 billion cut in key Medicaid services for beneficiaries.  ON WAY TO PRESIDENT'S DESK.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 416-12, with 186 Republicans voting YEA.)

Ending discriminatory treatment of mental health care coverage.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 268-148, with 47 Republicans voting YEA.)

Strengthening Medicare, ensuring seniors' access to the doctor of their choice, and expanding access to care for rural seniors.  PASSED HOUSE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 355-59, with 129 Republicans voting YEA.)


National Security

Investments to begin to fix the military readiness crisis.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 369-46, with 187 Republicans voting YEA.)

Increasing size of our Armed Forces to reduce the strain on our troops.  SIGNED INTO LAW.   (Passed by bipartisan vote of 369-46, with 187 Republicans voting YEA.)

9/11 Commission terrorism recommendations given force of law.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 371-40, with 150 Republicans voting YEA.)

Tighter foreign investment rules, after Dubai Ports scandal.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 370-45, with 195 Republicans voting YEA.)


Troops and Veterans

New GI Bill to give free college education to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  ON WAY TO PRESIDENT'S DESK.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 416-12, with 186 Republicans voting YEA.)

Largest veterans' health care funding increase in history.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 409-2, with 185 Republicans voting YEA.)

Wounded Warrior Act, improving health care for returning wounded soldiers after Walter Reed scandal.  SIGNED INTO LAW. (Passed by unanimous vote of 426-0, with 200 Republicans voting YEA.)

Major pay raise for troops.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 369-46, with 187 Republicans voting YEA.)

Significant tax relief for our military families.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous vote of 403-0, with 184 Republicans voting YEA.)


Energy Independence and Global Warming

Landmark Energy Independence law: first new fuel efficiency standards in 32 years, new efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, historic commitment to American-grown biofuels.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 314-100, with 95 Republicans voting YEA.)

Directing the President to lower gas prices by suspending deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve .  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 385-25, with 162  Republicans voting YEA.)

Holding OPEC and Big Oil accountable for price fixing.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 324-84, with 103 Republicans voting YEA.)

Cracking down on price gouging by oil companies.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 284-141, with 56 Republicans voting YEA.)

Rebuilding America

Aid to Gulf Coast recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 348-73, with 123 Republicans voting YEA.)

Major new commitment to flood control and environmental restoration projects.  VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS, ENACTED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 381-40, with 155 Republicans voting YEA.)

Omnibus Public Lands Bill, with new protections for national parks, wilderness, historic sites, trails and water resources from coast to coast.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 291-117, with 70 Republicans voting YEA.)


Consumer Protection

Most sweeping FDA drug safety provisions in more than a decade.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 405-7, with 183 Republicans voting YEA.)

Banning toxic toys from China and other countries and ensuring all toys in the U.S. meet safety standards.  PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE.  (Passed by unanimous vote of 407-0, with 192 Republicans voting YEA.)

Fighting Crime

Improved background checks for gun purchases.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous voice vote.)

3,000 new Border Patrol agents.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by vote of 253-154, with 41 Republicans voting YEA.)

Saved the critical COPS program, proposed for elimination by the President.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by vote of 253-154, with 41 Republicans voting YEA.)


Restoring Accountability

Widely-acclaimed landmark lobbying and ethics reform bill.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 411-8, with 190 Republicans voting YEA.)

Imposing the highest ethical standards on Members of Congress in history.  ADOPTED IN HOUSE RULES.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 430-1, with 198 Republicans voting YEA.)

Strengthening Freedom of Information Act in order to improve government transparency.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous voice vote.)

Depoliticizing the appointment of U.S. Attorneys and better ensuring their independence.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by bipartisan vote of 306-114, with 80 Republicans voting YEA.)

Closing offshore tax loopholes for federal contractors.  SIGNED INTO LAW.  (Passed by unanimous vote of 403-0, with 184 Republicans voting YEA.)