Leaders in the new Democratic Congress are kicking off their new session with their so-called “100-Hour Agenda.” In a “First on CNBC” interview, incoming House Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer discussed these initiatives and what's ahead.
Hoyer said Democrats will implement many of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Also they are going to raise the minimum wage and they’re going to bring down college costs.
He added that prescription drug costs will be negotiated with drug companies to bring costs down for seniors
In first two days he added “[Democrats] will bring fiscal responsibility back to the House of Representatives.” This part of the plan will focus on relationships between lobbyists and members of Congress.
“This administration has been one of the most fiscally irresponsible in history,” added Hoyer. “We had a $5.6 trillion surplus in March of 2001 and [President Bush] turned it into a $3 trillion deficit."
“What we’re first going to do is make a very careful oversight of what’s happening in the Executive department. Then we need to make some very serious decisions in concert with the American people.”
Joe Kernan asked Hoyer about President Bush’s request for a line item veto. “I’m not for a line item veto,” he responded. “Congress has been reluctant to go down that route… because the founding fathers set up a separation of powers and to turn over a line item veto to the President… would give him extraordinary powers and undermine the co-equal relationship between the two branches.”
Joe Kernan also asked about reports of mild friction between Hoyer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. He said, “Speaker Pelosi and I are working well together and we’re going to be a good team leading the Democratic party to a very successful tenure in this Congress.”