Opening the Door
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 19, 2006
"I pride myself in being called a liberal."
"I don't consider myself a moderate."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) (Time, 9/4/06)
...And she's not the only one.
"This list of the bills most likely to be championed by committee chairmen in a Pelosi-led House of Representatives would be great fodder for the latenight talk show hosts if it weren't true," House Majority Whip Roy Blunt said. "Instead, it's just plain scary. While Republicans fight the War on Terror, grow our robust economy, and crack down on illegal immigration, House Democrats plot to establish a Department of Peace, raise your taxes, and minimize penalties for crack dealers. The difference couldn't be starker."
Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act -- H.R. 3760: Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and 74 Democratic cosponsors propose a new "Department of Peace and Nonviolence" as well as "National Peace Day." Cosponsors include three would-be Democratic Chairmen: John Conyers (Judiciary), George Miller (Education and the Workforce), and Charlie Rangel (Ways and Means).
Gas Stamps -- H.R. 3712: Jim McDermott (D-WA) and eight Democratic cosponsors want a "Gas Stamps" program similar to the Food Stamps program to subsidize the gasoline purchases of qualified individuals.
Gotta give her this one:
Less Jail Time for Selling Crack Cocaine - H.R. 2456: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 23 Democratic cosponsors want to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for possessing, importing, and distributing crack cocaine. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill, is a cosponsor.
Voting Rights for Criminals - H.R. 1300: John Conyers (D-MI) and 32 Democratic cosponsors, and H.R. 663: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 28 Democratic cosponsors would let convicted felons vote. Rep. John Conyers is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Judiciary Committee which would consider this legislation.
Expand Medicare to Include Diapers -- H.R. 1052: Barney Frank (D-MA) supports Medicare coverage of adult diapers. Barney Frank is the would-be Chairman of the Financial Services Committee.
Nationalized Health Care - H.R. 4683: John Dingell (D-MI) and 18 Democratic cosponsors want to expand Medicare to cover all Americans. John Dingell is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee who along with cosponsors Charlie Rangel, would-be Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Henry Waxman, would-be Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, would have jurisdiction over the proposal.
Federal Regulation of Restaurant Menus -- H.R. 5563: Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and 25 Democratic cosponsors authorize federal regulation of the contents of restaurant menus.
Taxpayer Funded Abortions & Elimination of all Restrictions on Abortion, Including Parental Notice - H.R. 5151: Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and 66 Democratic cosponsors want to overturn even minimal restrictions on abortion such as parental notice requirements. The bill would also require taxpayer funding of abortions through the various federal health care programs. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over the bill, is an original cosponsor.
Bill of Welfare Rights -- H.J. Res. 29-35: Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) proposes a Soviet-style "Bill of Welfare Rights," enshrining the rights of full employment, public education, national healthcare, public housing, abortion, progressive taxation, and union membership. On some these measures, Rep. Jackson is joined by up to 35 Democratic cosponsors, including would-be Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.
A note about this list: While by no means an exhaustive list of the liberal, out-of-the-mainstream bills introduced by Democratic Members, these bills deserve particular attention because the principle advocates are the very individuals who would be in a position to schedule committee markups and move the legislation through the Congress should the Democrats take control. [Read]