Pelosi Says She Would Drain GOP 'Swamp'
Friday, October 6, 2006; 1:58 AM
WASHINGTON -- 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."
"We must share the benefits of our wealth" beyond the privileged few, she added.
Pelosi, 66, has been a leader of the House Democrats since 2002. But her political apprenticeship dates to childhood, when her father was mayor of Baltimore.