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Monday, January 24, 2005

Politics: The American Promise

A minority political party is charged with holding the majority party accountable and to offer alternative solutions for common problems. To this end, the US Senate Democrats have published their agenda for the 109th Congress. The agenda is organized into three main areas: Security, Opportunity, and Responsibility. The following are the bullets of the Senate bills as they appear on Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s website. Click on the links to see brief descriptions of the proposed bills. Sign up as a Citizen Cosponsor, or contact your state's Senators if you would like to discuss the issues.


Senate 11 – Standing With Our Troops

  • Increase Army and Marine End Strength By Up To 40,000 By 2007
  • Recognize the Sacrifice and Valor of Our Troops
  • A National Guard and Reserve Bill Of Rights
  • Fulfill Our Commitments To Military Families
  • Fulfill Our Commitments To Our Taxpayers

Senate 12 – Targeting the Terrorists More Effectively

  • Take the Fight to the Terrorists
  • Dry up the Breeding Grounds that Produce Terrorism
  • Increase the U.S. Government’s Accountability and Effectiveness to Counter the Terrorist Threat
  • Prevent Terrorist Acts With Weapons of Mass Destruction

Senate 13 – Fulfilling Our Duty to American Veterans

  • Ensure All Veterans Get the Health Care They Deserve By 2006
  • Expand Mental Health Care to All VA Hospitals By 2006
  • Make Prescription Drugs Readily Available to Veterans
  • Ensure No Veteran Is Forced to Choose Between Disability Compensation and Retirement Pay By 2006
  • Create A Seamless Transition From the Military to the VA
  • Enact A New G.I. Bill For the 21st Century


Senate 14 – Expanding Economic Opportunity

  • Ensure Fair Wages for America’s Workers
  • End Tax Break for Companies Exporting Jobs
  • A Marshall Plan to Improve Traditional and High-Tech Infrastructure
  • Strengthen and Restore American Innovative Strength through Commitment to Research, Science and Technology
  • Enforce Our Trade Agreements and Maintaining Level Playing Field
  • Retrain Workers Displaced by Trade
  • Define a Ceiling for the U.S. Trade Deficit and Foreign Debt

Senate 15 – Quality Education for All

  • Strengthen Head Start and Child Care Programs
  • Provide Safe, Reliable Transportation for Rural School Children
  • Fulfill Our Obligation to Children With Disabilities
  • Improve Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Address the Need for Math, Science and Special Education Teachers
  • Provide a Roadmap for First Generation and Low-Income College Students
  • Provide College Tuition Relief for Students and Their Families
  • Making College Affordable for All Students

Senate 16 – Making Healthcare More Affordable

  • Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable
  • Make Health Care Affordable For Children and Pregnant Women
  • Provide Small Businesses Relief
  • Modernize Health Care

Senate 17 – Democracy Begins at Home

  • Voter Verified Ballots
  • Election Day Registration
  • Uniform and Nondiscriminatory Standards for Counting Provisional Ballots
  • Shorter Lines at the Polls
  • Create a National Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot
  • Accurate and Transparent Voting Rolls
  • Establish Early Voting
  • Investigate a Federal Election Day Holiday
  • Upgrade Voting Machines and Improve Ballot Designs
  • Create Uniform and Inclusive Voter Registration Standards
  • Establish Fair and Uniform Voter ID Rules
  • Impartial Election Administrators
  • Increase Funding to States


Senate 18 - Meeting Our Responsibility to Medicare Beneficiaries

  • Lower Drug Prices for Seniors
  • Lower Part B Premiums For SeniorsBy Eliminating the HMO Slush Fund
  • Protect Seniors From Gaps In Coverage
  • Protect Retirees From Losing Drug Coverage
  • Ensure Seniors Are Not Forced Into HMOs
  • Eliminate Late Penalties
  • Protect 6 Million Low-Income Beneficiaries During The Transition

Senate 19 - Fiscal Responsibility for a Sound Future

  • Spend Within Our Means
  • Reinstate Mandatory Spending Cuts to Balance the Budget
  • Limit the Use of Reconciliation to Deficit Reduction Legislation

Senate 20 - Putting Prevention First

  • Increase Access to Family Planning Services
  • End Insurance Discrimination Against Women
  • Provide Compassionate Assistance for Rape Victims
  • Improve Awareness about Emergency Contraception
  • Reduce Teen Pregnancy
  • Truth in Contraception

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