The New Congress

Well, today the new Congress hits town.  They will be shown their lockers, roll call will be taken and the bell will ring and instruction will begin.  There will be lots of photos.  Final touches will be put on offices, nameplates brushed up and Web sites activated.

J0403800For those of us inside the Beltway, that means, after a few weeks of good commutes in the morning, more rush hour traffic, more rush hour commentary.  For those of you at home elsewhere, it means a new wind of change in policy, particularly health policy.

A recent Associated Press/San Diego Union-Tribune poll finds that Americans, on the whole, are supportive of the Democratic proposed legislative agenda.  Since it is the Democrats who have been elected, that probably makes sense.  Among those goals is to lower prescription drug prices and to open up funding for stem-cell research, with overwhelming support for the former at 69% favorability. 

Another development this week was that it was announced by the Democrats that they will not allow amendment to their first 100 hour agenda from the other side of the aisle.  One supposes that they figure that the other side of the aisle has had 10 years to make their changes and failed.  In any case, that means that stark Democratic proposals on these issues are likely to move forward.

Political realists are quick to point out that the President is unlikely to sign legislation that would allow importation in order to ease pricing and will not sign legislation allowing funding for stem cell research.  That may be inconsequential. 

For those with their eye on the long-game respecting these issues, the point proponents want to make is actually the fact that the President will exercise his veto, so that the real decision can be made two years from now.  The fact that the President will veto these items should be cold comfort to those who oppose them. 

Sorry about no posting yesterday, I’ve been feeling under the weather. 

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