Starting practical never hurts…..

January 3, 2007


New polling data out today shows that the American people support the Democrats goals for the beginning of their control of Congress. Dubbed the 100 hour agenda, the Democrats campaigned hard on these issues, and it seems like their message got across. The whole article is here.

First up, the minimum wage:

A boost to the $5.15-an-hour federal minimum wage would be the first since 1997. Democratic leaders have proposed raising it in stages to $7.25 an hour.
President Bush has said he supports the idea, along with help for small businesses. Fully 80 percent of survey respondents favor an increase, too. Support is strongest among Democrats, 91 percent, while 65 percent of Republicans back the idea. Women, men without college degrees and single women all are especially likely to favor a minimum wage hike.

Next, although maybe not in this order, allowing the government to negotiate on behalf of medicare with pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug costs, and allow importation for prescription drugs from Canada:

Nearly seven of 10 adults, 69 percent, favor the government taking steps to make it easier for people to buy prescription drugs from other countries, where some medicines cost significantly less than in the U.S. Importing prescription drugs to the United States is illegal, but the Food and Drug Administration generally does not bar individuals from bringing in small amounts for personal use. At the same time, the government has estimated that buying drugs from other countries would do little to influence what they cost here at home.

Third, pass veto-proof legislation to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research:

Some 56 percent of adults support easing restrictions on using federal money to pay for research on embryonic stem cells. Supporters say such research could lead to treatments for everything from Parkinson’s disease to spinal cord injuries. Bush and other opponents say the embryos from which the cells are extracted are human lives that should not be destroyed in the name of science. Bush kept a promise in 2001 when he limited federally funded research to lines of embryonic stem cells that had been created by that time. Last summer, he used the first veto of his presidency to reject a bill that would have directed more federal dollars toward embryonic stem cell research. Democrats have pledged to reverse that outcome, setting up a possible veto showdown with the president.

Other portions of their agenda include instituting the 9/11 commission recommendations and enacting ethics reform………

The brilliance of this is it begins to create the framework for discussion for 2008, while at the same time, instills in the American people the notion that the days of the do-nothing Congress are over. The opinion of the Democrats will go through the roof once some of this legislation is passed– it will be very easy to fill the vacuum the Republicans have left……