Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Nancy Pelosi just finished speaking in my neighborhood. That makes Bill Clinton, Andy Stern and Nancy Pelosi in Philly in the last eighteen hours. Philadelphia: the city people forget about until it is election season or the NFC championship game. I wasn't able to attend because I was up until 4 a.m. last night writing an article for the BBC. However, I can see from the AP Pelosi is now starting to talk about a "first 100 hours" for a Democratic House:Franklin Roosevelt had his first hundred days. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is thinking 100 hours, time enough, she says, to begin to "drain the swamp" after more than a decade of Republican rule. As in the first 100 hours the House meets after Democrats in her fondest wish win control in the Nov. 7 midterm elections and Pelosi takes the gavel as the first Madam Speaker in history.

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. Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds "I hope with a veto-proof majority," she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday.

All the days after that: "Pay as you go," meaning no increasing the deficit, whether the issue is middle class tax relief, health care or some other priority. To do that, she said, Bush-era tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above "a certain level." She mentioned annual incomes of $250,000 or $300,000 a year and higher, and said tax rates for those individuals might revert to those of the Clinton era. Details will have to be worked out, she emphasized. "We believe in the marketplace," Pelosi said of Democrats, then drew a contrast with Republicans. "They have only rewarded wealth, not work." Not a bad start, but I certainly hope they also have election reform and oversight of both Iraq and the executive branch on their plates as well. Failure for a Democratic House to address those tow issues would be catastrophic.

Tags: Democrats, House 2006 (all tags)

Comments

24 Comments

Accountability on Iraq

I wouldn't worry about that. This is her legislative agenda. Iraq hearings will be called by the committee chairmen. No bill passage necessary on that front immediately.

by adamterando 2006-10-06 09:02AM | 0 recs
I don't like it

As I diaried a short while ago.

Main gripes:

  1. Use of a clear reference to FDR's Hundred Days invites unfavorable comparisons.

  2. Horribly loose language in suggesting that the items she mentions could be enacted in 100 hours, even if the Dems controlled both elected branches next January.

  3. Failure to recognize the real environment that a Dem-controlled 110th House would have to work in - in particular, a Senate with, at best, a GOP filibuster comfortably within the numbers, and a veto an override of which would need the concurrence of a third of GOP reps and senators.

By contrast, Gingrich's Contract with America only promised what a GOP-controlled House could deliver, making no assumptions about external actors.

by skeptic06 2006-10-06 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't like it

1.  How is refering to FDR's Hundred Days a bad thing?  Most Americans are pretty fond of the man and his efforts.

2.  They could be enacted in the House, if Democrats have even a relatively narrow majority.  Yeah, the Senate is slow, but that's the way the Senate is.

3.  You're probably right about that.

by nanoboy 2006-10-06 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't like it

The problem with the 100 days connection is that it seems to be Pelosi inviting comparison between herself and FDR.

And, in every respect bar locomotion, Pelosi comes off worse in such a comparison. (And I speak as one with a thoroughly jaundiced view of FDR hero-worship.)

Most particularly, since we're talking about presentation, whereas FDR was a broadcasting genius, Pelosi is - not.

(Interestingly, in his Inaugural, JFK, no mean broadcaster himself, includes - or Sorensen does - a hundred days reference in the negative: All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Calculated modesty.)

When when she says enacted, most people, I suspect, would take it to mean become law. Technically, a bill that passes the House is an act. But to describe the process to a lay audience as enactment strikes me as more than a tad misleading.

If that's what she was doing - which I don't think it was. I just think her wording was careless.

by skeptic06 2006-10-06 09:53AM | 0 recs
You Sound Like A Concern Troll, Dude!

(1) Gingrich only promised that the House would consider the issues on his Contract.  He didn't even make promises about the House.  You're hardly the only one to misremember it.  In fact, most people didn't get it right the first time.  (In fact)^2, most people didn't even hear about his Contract the first time.  It just gave political reporters something to write about.

Moral: people who are even marginally paying attention will still hear what they want to hear to a large extent, especially about the process.  But the core message--what kinds of actions Dems would take--is what matters most.  And those are clear winners.

(2) After 6 years of almost solid GOP rule, you talk as if building up expectations is a bad thing!

(3) After 74 years of Dem rule good, GOP rule bad, you talk as if invoking FDR's 100 days is a bad thing!

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-10-06 09:54AM | 0 recs
Not at all

Actually, as I mention in my diary, the Contract does promise:

The internal reforms list is preceded by

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

And the bills by
Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny.

What this highly specific language goes out of its way not to do is promise that the bills will pass the House, or the Congress or become law.

Building up expectations that patently cannot be delivered is a thoroughly bad thing - it produces unnecessary disappointment amongst voters, thus tending to reduce the chance of continuing control.

A pol who raises expectations which, if he's elected, are likely to be within his power to deliver is quite another matter.

As for the FDR comparison - if I were Pelosi, I just wouldn't go there.

by skeptic06 2006-10-06 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Not one word about national security or Iraq.  Play right into their hands, why don't you, Nancy?

How about a veteran's benefit restoration or a body-armor appropriation.  Take this issue away from them.

Sheesh.

by AntiCliche 2006-10-06 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Exactly.  Didn't she listen to Clinton?

Americans are BEGGING Democrats to act with cocksure confidence about security, terrorism, and Iraq.

One thing that some voters will hold their nose and vote GOP on is terrorism...because the Dems don't seem to be addressing it enough and will with enough balls.

by jgarcia 2006-10-06 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Well, there's S 3875, the Real Security Act, which is an omnibus bill of Dem proposals on homeland security, Iraq and the like.

Uncle Harry tried to attach it as a rider to the SAFE Ports Act - but this was voted down.

There was, early in the year, a pretty limp Dem ethics bill (the GOP bill was limper, natch).

As for the rest, I've no idea.

by skeptic06 2006-10-06 09:25AM | 0 recs
If she really wanted to shore up the base.

she would include enaction of Rush Holt's verified voting bill as well.

otherwise this looks good to me, as mentioned upthread the things i'd like to see added are procedural and investigative, not legislative!

-C.

by neutron 2006-10-06 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

I like all these ideas alot.  They are all very ambitious very GOOD ideas.  But could she have waited till Nov 8th?  I do not want to be the 'naysayer' here but could we wait till the votes have been counted first on Nov 7th.

by Gigadafud 2006-10-06 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

The goal, to be clear, is to help win the election by clearly telling voters what Democrats will do if they win.  We can't do that if we keep our agenda hidden until after the election.

by Steve M 2006-10-06 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

The first item can be done on day one, since it is an internal House rule.

The second might be done if the leadership gets its act together in November and December.  Hearings on day one, with a vote on day two.

The rest might be iffy, but once again, if the chairs have write-ups of the bills ready for hearing, it can go.

Passing the house might be symbolic for the bills, but what a symbol.

by Hughsterg 2006-10-06 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

This least presents the Dems as having a definite agenda and sense of purpose -- something not seen in the current congress.

There are a lot of things to cover, but you have to start somewhere. I'd put restoring the constitution ahead of the minimum wage (e.g. ending torture, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping), but perhaps the former is more popular with voters and easier to explain.

A good move all in all. I'll be interested to see if the media takes the Dems seriously enough now to give it some play.

AntiCliche: I think "national security" is addressed in the 9/11 Commission. Given the strong feelings and diverse opinions on Iraq within the party and the nation, I'd expect floor debate on the bill to take longer than the alotted 100 hours.

by tentakles 2006-10-06 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

I like this.  Not sure why it took Pelosi this long to come up with it, but its a nice way of setting forth what Dems will do if they get some power.  They are all good progressive ideas, but ones that have appeal across the spectrum.  Even if we can't get all those bills passed, let's cue them up and make Dubya veto them.

by alhill 2006-10-06 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Maybe she was waiting until she was sure we'd get the house?

by forecaster15 2006-10-06 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Nancy and Rahm Emanuel been speaking about the hundred hours program for months now.  Dumbass media just hasn't paid attention.

by swampdredger 2006-10-06 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Ah. That makes sense.

by forecaster15 2006-10-06 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

I think it's a good start.  

by MtnFrost 2006-10-06 10:13AM | 0 recs
Go Nancy

I've never liked Pelosi more than I do right now.  Concrete ideas, with broad-based public support, which can be enacted simply and realistically.  Where have you been all my life?

It's also telling that most of the criticisms here are similar to the most common type of criticism against Clinton from the left: they're doing a good thing, but not every good thing I want them to do.  Cut her some slack - she's not Speaker just yet, and she's only talking about the first four days.  Even God took six to get the job done.  There'll be time on days five and six for voter reform and investigations.

And I think Iraq was intentionally left off because nothing's going to get solved there in just a few days, so why make empty promises?

by schroeder 2006-10-06 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

Any way to sqeeze in impeachement there? ;-)

by kovie 2006-10-06 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

The first hundred hours sounds pretty great to me.  It shows that a Dem/Pelosi controlled House will, you know, D-O S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G.  In the first 4 days!

Now, she needs to start laying out a few more items on the agenda that need attention PRONTO!

Habeaus Corpus, Torture, funding for our soldiers to have proper equipment (we need them protected till they get home), de-funding Gitmo, de-funding permanent bases in Iraq, reversing the bankruptcy bill, etc, etc, etc.

But if she gets those proposals to pass the House in the first 100 hours, we'll be off to a great start!

by JJCPA 2006-10-06 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

I was at this rally. Here's my take. Doing a whole bunch of stuff in the first 100 hours sounds nice, but I'm sure it simplifies the glacial pace at which stuff that the GOP doesn't approve of gets done.

by PsiFighter37 2006-10-06 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Calls For a First "100 Hours"

First post ever! But I'm inspired enough by the idea to come in with a suggestion.

We want to create a sense of urgency. Now, a minimum wage bill is a great idea and worthy of our support, but to put it into the "first hundred hours" deal isn't that particularly good a play.  The lobbyist reform bill is less important, but it's the type of thing that could be passed pretty much instantaneously without the rigors of pushing it through the Senate (I think?), so it'd be a quick piece of legislation to do right off the bat. Some good initial press, at least.

But people this election aren't voting about lobbyist reform, nor are they voting for an increase in minimum wage. They're not even voting to make a stand against paedophilia. Stop paying attention to them and turn your eyes to the big elephant in the room: Bush and his disastrous policies in Iraq and in combatting terrorism.

We don't need an immediate initial slew of domestic policy legislation. What we need an omnibus bill that immediately implements all of the reforms of the 9/11 Commission, starts hearings on  the urgent need to improve the conditions in Iraq, and establishes the desperately needed oversight and accountability of the President in dealing with national security. That's something that most Americans want, and the thing that's most on Democrats' minds right now. If we go for the jugular, we win.

by Zephyrus 2006-10-06 01:36PM | 0 recs

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