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First 100 Days: At Least There's Sound and Fury

1:35 PM, Apr 13, 2007 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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The House Republicans have released a report on the First 100 Days of the Democratic Congress, concluding that Democrats have accomplished little legislatively. Partisan Democrats will argue that this is not a surprise, given that they have narrow majorities and a president in opposition. They'll argue that it's unfair to expect much in such circumstances.

But one might still expect them to vote on bills and send a few to the president, right? Well, not even that is happening.

Look at the list of priorities--the 'Six for 06' that the Democrats campaigned on. They promised to implement all recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Leaving aside that they dropped completely the Congressional reform component, the measure still has not been sent to the president. Do they regard it as a priority or not?

Raising the minimum wage has majority support in both the House and Senate--yet it still has not been sent to the president. The same is true of stem cell research. Legislation to change the interest rate on student loans, change the Medicare prescription-drug plan, and implement 'a comprehensive energy policy' have not even been voted on in the Senate.

Further, though it was not included in the 'Six for 06,' Congressional Democrats spoke constantly about the need to clean up Washington. But while the House and Senate have both passed ethics reform bills, there's no sign that there will ever be a conference report to send to the president. Meanwhile, both House and Senate are disregarding provisions of the bills they have passed.

Despite having accomplished very little, Democrats have been willing to stifle debate, change the rules, and generally go back on campaign promises. It's night and day from the first 100 days of the Republican Congress in 1995 (which also faced a narrow majority and an opposition President).

Note that I have not touched upon the substance of the bills the Democrats are pushing. There's plenty of room for criticism on the merits of their legislation. I'd encourage you to read the report prepared by the House Republicans, which looks in detail at the substance of the agenda.

To see for yourself the 17 bills that have been signed into law this year, click here. Nine of the seventeen are bills to rename post offices and courthouses, which appears to be a bipartisan process--one of them is the 'Rush Hudson Limbaugh Courthouse.'

We should give some credit to Captain Ed, who presaged this report the other day.

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Speaker Pelosi's first day. She promised "the toughest ethics reform in history."