Pelosi to colleagues: Happy New Year. Now get ready to work
WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a “Happy New Year” message to colleagues: be ready for action when the new U.S. Congress convenes next week.
“The 111th Congress will hit the ground running … with an ambitious schedule that corresponds with the opportunities and challenges that we face as a country,” Pelosi wrote Wednesday in an open letter to her “Democratic colleagues.”
“The opening days of the Congress will be intense,” Pelosi added. “I know that we will be ready.”
The House and Senate will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 6 — 14 days before Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th U.S. president. It will mark the first time in 14 years that Democrats have controlled both Congress and the White House.
In the November elections, Democrats expanded their majorities in the House and Senate with a stack of campaign promises.
They included ones to: withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq and redeploy many of them to Afghanistan; expand health care coverage; move the U.S. toward energy independence; curb global warming and bolster regulation of the troubled financial industry.
Among the first measures to be considered will likely be one that could total $775 billion or more in spending and tax cuts to stimulate the economy and stem a deepening recession.
In her letter, Pelosi wrote that the Democratic Steering Committee, which helps set party policy, will hold a hearing Wednesday on the need for an economic recovery plan.
Pelosi added that by the time Obama takes office in two weeks, she expects the House to consider a number of bills, including one to pump new life into the economy.
She ended her “Happy New Year!” letter with a holiday note: “Best wishes to you and your family.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Pelosi at a news conference Dec. 2)