This past week the Democratic controlled Congress sent six pieces of legislation to President Bush for his signature. The bills include a minimum wage increase, more money for children’s health care, natural disaster relief, and veterans’ medical care. “Today, hard-working Americans who earn the minimum wage are guaranteed their first pay raise in almost a decade,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “Today, we bring overdue assistance to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes rebuild their lives and communities and American farmers devastated by disaster preserve their farms and their rural way of life.”

Pelosi also praised the bipartisanship that allowed all of this legislation to be passed and signed into law. “These legislative successes demonstrate we know how to work together to make progress for the American people—and reject the policy of obstruction, veto threats and stalling tactics,” Pelosi said.  “The American people want change, and House Democrats will continue to work hard every day of this Congress to make bipartisan progress to restore accountability, defend our country, achieve energy independence and fight global warming, grow our economy, and strengthen our children and families.  Those are the priorities of the New Direction Congress.”

Obviously, Pelosi is trying to do a little damage control after the Democrats gave in to the president on the war funding bill. However compared to the last GOP controlled congressional session, which passed no major legislation, the Democratic Congress has been almost frantic in its pace. Because of their inability to change the strategy in Iraq, it would be easy to assume that they aren’t getting anything done, but I also think that all of the passed legislation must be put into perspective. All of what they passed, except for the first war funding bill, was agreeable to congressional Republicans and the White House. The Democrats campaigned last fall on changing the strategy in Iraq, so I think it is only fair that they are evaluated on this issue. As time goes on, and issues like immigration and Iraq continue to be debated, we will see what this Congress is really made of.

Pelosi statement

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at  blog radio 

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