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Many Pledges Left To Fill From Democrats’ ‘Six for ’06’ January 19, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–As House Democrats wrapped up work Thursday on their highly touted agenda for the first 100 hours in power there remains a less well known list of campaign promises sitting on the sidelines.

Democrats have pushed through the House at double speed an increase in the minimum wage, a $7.1 billion cut in subsidies for student lenders and a bill that would require the government to negotiate prescription drug prices.

All were culled from the proposals Democrats included in their “Six for ’06,” a thematic platform with a variety of provisions listed under each of its six parts.

What hasn’t been mentioned much since election day are the other campaign promises included on those lists.

From doubling the size of the military’s special forces to cutting Medicare subsidies for health maintenance organizations, Democrats offered in their 2006 campaign a wide-ranging list of “priorities for all Americans, not just the privileged few.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday those provisions would now be taken up by the various committees of jurisdiction.

“This was only a beginning,” Pelosi said.

For example, Pelosi said she has spoken to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., about taking up legislation that would end tax incentives to U.S. companies for moving jobs overseas.

Rangel’s committee will also have jurisdiction over several other items in the remaining Six for ’06 agenda, such as making permanent the deduction for college tuition costs and expanding personal savings incentives.

Pelosi has also set a July 4 deadline for a second energy bill, the first energy bill passed Thursday, but there is no timetable for legislation enacting the remaining Six for ’06 pledges.

Also on that list are bills that would end “wasteful giveaways to…HMOs” under Medicare and provide “real pension reform to protect employees’ financial security from CEO corruption and mismanagement,” according to Democratic campaign materials. The latter proposal would also give pension plans standing in bankruptcy proceedings.

By John Godfrey, Dow Jones Newswires

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