16 November 2006

House Leadership Set?

CNN reported a few minutes ago that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, every conservative's favorite straw-liberal, had indeed been unanimously selected by her caucus to become Speaker of the House. I am quite happy with the news, because despite the Right's attempts to turn her into the Liberal bogey(wo)man of their nightmares, she seems a good choice. Her First 100 Hours plan is precisely what the Democrats need to get off on the ground running and to show the American people that they are serious about returning the Congress to responsible and respectable governance:
Day One: Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation."

Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
Will all of that get done? Probably not. Will they try? Hopefully. Is trying better than what we've seen in the House for the last six years? Yes. And it's a plan to set this country back on the path of economic and social progress from which we've deviated under the Bush Administration and his Rubber Stamp Congress.

Also in House Leadership news, Hotline on Call is reporting that Rep. John Murtha has conceded in the race for House Majority Leader, acknowledging that his bid will fall short to Rep. Steny Hoyer's. I'm not a huge fan of Hoyer, and I did enjoy seeing Murtha come out so forcefully and knowledgeably against the Iraq war, but given the campaign the Democrats ran nationally, Murtha would be a foolish choice to ascend to a leadership position. Murtha is known as a master of getting pork to his district and is an earmark specialist. He was also caught up in the ABSCAM sting of the early eighties, though he was never charged. After running against pork-laden, corrupt Republicans, I think it would have been a bad idea for Democrats to elevate anyone with those taints to a position as high profile as Majority Leader.


Blogger lecollye said...

Two interesting facts about Steny Hoyer: 1) Steny appears to be his real name and not a frat nickname as I had assumed.
2) He was elected to the state senate at 27...I suck.

16 November, 2006 11:01  
Blogger Ivan Ludmer said...

I don't know--Pelosi is off to a poor start from my perspective. You detailed the problems with Murtha in your last paragraph and I completely agree with them. The other problem is that she apparently wants to Alcee Hastings to supersede Jane Harman as chair of the Intelligence Committee. In light of ethical issues, having an impeached judge chair that committee seems a poor choice. It would be like putting William Jefferson in as chair of the Appropriations Committee and giving him an in-committee-room refrigerator.

16 November, 2006 18:00  

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