Countdown to Change Concludes Monitoring First 100 Hours in Record Time
The Countdown to Change project has now concluded monitoring the First 100 Hours of the Democratic Congress. In just under 43 hours, the new House leadership, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, moved swiftly to enact a series of proposals that address the top domestic concerns of most Americans. We are pleased to report that our efforts helped to provide coverage to Rhode Islanders on these watershed shifts our government is making to be more responsive to its citizens. We are also glad to hear Democrats saying that this is only the beginning of the changes that can be made to bring about a more healthy, safe and productive world.
The Countdown to Change project divided up coverage of each of the following issues on the respective blogs of Kmareka.com, Pat-Crowley.org and RIFuture.org:
Lobbyist, Ethics and Fiscal Responsibility Reform (Draining the Swamp) â€“ Pat Crowley provided extensive coverage of this legislation which was passed by a vote of 280 to 152. 48 Republicans approved the reforms along with 232 Democrats.
Enact 9/11 Commission Recommendations â€“ RI Future monitored the this legislation which passed by a margin of 299 to 128.
Increase Minimum Wage â€“ Pat Crowley reported on this issue, (with help from Peter Asen). The minimum wage hike was passed by a huge margin of 315 to 116.
Expand Stem Cell Research– This legislation passed by a margin of 253 to 174 (not enough for an override), RI Future.org reported on this issue.
Negotiate for Lower Prescription Drug Prices â€“ Kmareka reported on this legislation, which passed by a margin of 255 to 170.
Cut Interest Rates on Student Loans â€“ Kmareka reported on this legislation, which passed by a margin of 356 to 71, with the highest number of Republicans joining Democrats to pass this bill.
End Subsidies for Big Oil and Invest In Renewable Energy â€“ RI Future reported on this legislation which passed by a margin of 264-163.
Kiersten Marek of Kmareka.com said: â€œThe joke is that this is what you get when you put a woman in charge: 100 hours worth of work done in 43 hours. The truth is that even working double-time, our leaders have a great deal of challenges ahead of them. The need for collaboration, for people of all backgrounds to find common ground, has never been greater. We are thankful for these first efforts and look forward to reporting on the bigger changes as they come.â€?
Matt Jerzyk of RIFuture.org said: â€œRhode Island was a key state in ensuring that Democrats took control of Congress and I think Rhode Islanders are seeing that their investment was justified. Important investments in stem cell research and renewable energy were promptly debated and passed and the nation should feel more secure with the full passage of the 9/11 recommendations. It was truly informative and educational to witness and blog the laborious process that each bill must travel before passing and I hope to continue to provide more comprehensive coverage of Congress with the rise to power of Rhode Island Democrats in Congress.â€?
Pat Crowley of Pat-Crowley.org said, “More and more American’s are getting their political news from the Internet. What the Countdown to Change project did was allow people not just to read about the news on Capitol Hill, but actually take part in ways that they can’t do with traditional media. “