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A New Direction: The First 100 Days of the 110th Congress

StarsThe 110th Congress is making progress for the American people on the toughest challenges we face. For too many years, these challenges have gone unaddressed.

Under Democratic leadership, this Congress is changing the way we do business in Washington--restoring accountability and working together to get the job done. We are delivering on our promise of a New Direction for America.

IN THE FIRST 100 HOURS

The 100 Hour Agenda responded to a nation frustrated with years of Congressional inaction, and took the initiative to address issues of concern to America's families. From the first day, the New Direction Congress, with new leadership and working across party lines, set a new course - one that gives more of us the opportunity to attain the American Dream.

The new House worked across party lines to pass legislation to:

Make Americans safer here at home

  • We made our very first vote the implementation of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission national security recommendations.

Make our economy fairer

  • We voted to increase the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years--to give American workers an overdue pay raise.

Make college more affordable for every American

  • We voted to cut student loan interest rates in half.

Make America more energy independent and help fight global warming

  • We voted to roll back multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil companies - already enjoying record profits.
  • We will reinvest here at home in renewable energy and energy efficiency - spending our energy dollars in the Midwest, not the Middle East.

Offer hope for new cures to devastating diseases

  • We voted to expand research and help unlock the promise of stem cell therapies to alleviate human suffering and cure diseases.

Help reduce the cost of drugs for seniors and Americans with disabilities

  • We voted to require Medicare to leverage its substantial bargaining power to buy prescription drugs and pass the savings on to the people.

Clean up Washington and the fiscal mess

  • We put the interests of all Americans ahead of the special interests by passing tough Congressional ethics reform, restoring 'pay-as-you-go' budgeting, and restricting spending earmarks.

 

IN THE FIRST 100 DAYS

The first 100 hours was just a beginning. In the first 100 days, we addressed the most pressing issue of our time - the war in Iraq. And on other immediate challenges, where there had been a failure to act, this Congress stood up for the American people.

We honored our commitment to our veterans and troops, restored investments in health care and education, gave long overdue aid to the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and worked to restore accountability in government. We have a fiscally responsible budget that reflects the values of the American people.

The new House passed legislation to:

Strengthen our National Security and Provide a New Direction in Iraq

  • Support the troops and oppose an open-ended commitment to the President's failed strategy in Iraq--calling for responsible redeployment of most U.S. troops by August 31, 2008.
  • Require the President to ensure troops meet Defense Department standards for training, equipment, and length of deployment.
  • Hold the Iraqi government accountable to meet the President's benchmarks for progress.
  • Refocus the fight against terror on Afghanistan and al Qaeda.
  • Tackle the military and veterans' disgraceful health care crisis.

Restore Fiscal Responsibility and Grow our Economy

  • Cut the deficit and balance the budget over five years.
  • Create good jobs by investing in renewable energy and new technologies for an energy independent America.
  • Guarantee American workers free choice in bargaining with employers.

Develop a Budget that Reflects American Values

  • Extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured children.
  • Protect middle-income families from being hit with an AMT tax increase.
  • Restore critical funding to education, law enforcement, medical research, and health care - reversing years of harmful cuts.
  • Invest in our national security and provide the largest veterans' funding increase in U.S. history.
  • Open the door to college to millions of students by increasing Pell Grants.
  • Provide overdue housing, infrastructure, and education aid for the survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Restore Accountability to Washington

  • Clean up government contracting abuses and 'no bid' contracts that companies like Halliburton and KBR have made infamous.
  • Strengthen protections for government whistleblowers who expose fraud or safety concerns.
  • Protect the public's right to know, strengthening the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Restore 'checks and balances' oversight by investigating the military health care crisis, Iraq and Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, and the firing of U.S. Attorneys.

 

NEXT ON THE AGENDA

We will work to:

Defend our Country

  • Fight terrorism with a greater focus on those who attacked us on 9/11, on homeland security, and on keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
  • Improve our military readiness by rebuilding a 21st century force capable of projecting power and our ideals to protect our country and our interests.
  • Demand accountability and end the 'rubber stamp' approach to Congressional oversight of the war in Iraq, the fight against terrorism, and homeland security.

Grow our Economy

  • Invest in 25,000 new highly-trained science, math, engineering, and technology teachers, and 100,000 students in the fields that fuel the Innovation Economy.
  • Double basic R&D funding and focus funds on high-risk, high-reward early stage research.
  • Expand 'always on' broadband Internet, targeting rural and underserved regions.
  • Pass a strong new agriculture bill for family farmers and ranchers who will lead the way to an energy independent America.
  • Help make home ownership affordable and make lending institutions more accountable.
  • Promote bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that secures our border, strengthens our economy, protects American workers and fixes our broken system.

Care for our Children and Families

  • Dramatically expand access to quality health care for America's children.
  • Expand and improve our most successful pre-school program, Head Start.
  • Convene a Children's Summit, to ensure the best science guides policy on child care, children's health, and early learning.
  • Treat mental health care the same as other medical coverage.
  • Expedite FDA approval and enhance the safety of life-saving drugs.
  • Provide more support to local police and strengthen oversight of Internet child safety.

Protect our Planet

  • Reduce our dependence on foreign oil to help combat rising gas prices.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce emissions, helping to protect future generations from climate change.
  • Promote innovation to make America the world leader in clean energy technologies.

Restore Accountability

  • Break the link between legislation and lobbyists by passing lobby reform.
  • Strengthen our democracy and protect the integrity of our elections with paper trail accountability and reforms to prevent voter intimidation.

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