The Takeover: The New Democratic Power In Congress -
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The Takeover: The New Democratic Power In Congress

Politically speaking the American people are sometimes a little slow but they do eventually get it right. Voting twice for George W. Bush was not in the best interest of the American people or the world (well more Americans did vote for Gore) and we have seen that Republican control of congress has been nothing but a rubber stamp for Bush’s constitutionally suspect policies. Make no mistake the Democratic Party’s victory in the mid-term elections was overwhelming. Every democratic incumbent won their seat and picked up republican seats in the house and the bare minimum needed to take over the senate. Now that the Dems have the power there is already a debate on how best to wield the power and for G dub and the “king of no bid contracts for friends” Cheney the party is indeed over.

The Democrats have subpoena power and impeachment power though they have said it will not be a particular pursuit. Democrats for the final two years of Bush’s presidency can always hold the prospect of investigating the run up to war or the wiretapping of American citizens without a warrant, the secret prisons abroad or illegal torture over the administrations head if they are uncooperative in other policy areas. Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female speaker of the House of Representatives and third in line of the presidency. Two prominent African Americans Charles Rangel and John Conyers will become the chairs of two powerful house committees. Rangel is already making noise because he seeks to restore the draft, he says that will make Americans take pause before sending soldiers into harms way. That may be true but if the Congress acted as a true check on the presidency this would be unnecessary as Congress has the purse. The president cannot send troops anywhere without the money.

The Congressional Black Caucus will have the opportunity if voting as a block to really influence legislation. Democratic party priorities such as raising the minimum wage and taking a second crack at prescription drug coverage and seeking new ideas on the war in Iraq are important however the CBC needs to now make the issues at the forefront of the black community a priority health as it relates to HIV/AIDS education, increased federal funding to programs in the inner cities for gang intervention, increased funding for community policing, restoration of voting rights after prison, fully funding head start and taking another look at no child left behind reducing the unfunded mandates crippling the public schools.

There are no shortage problems that could use fixing in America and the way the democratic party responds will be the measure by which they hold onto their new found fame.

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