100-Hour Plan

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The 100-Hour Plan is a Democratic Party political strategy detailing the actions the party will pursue upon assuming leadership of the 110th Congress on January 4, 2007. The strategy was announced before the 2006 midterm elections. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged that her party will continue to pursue these goals upon her assumption of leadership. The 100-hour time period refers to business hours and not actual time, and began on the Tuesday (January 9, 2007) after the swearing-in ceremony on January 4.

By January 18, 2007, 87 business hours after the swearing-in, the House of Representatives had passed all the measures of the plan. Legislation still has to pass the Senate and receive the President's signature (or override his veto) to become law.

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Origin of the plan

The origin for the name of the plan is a play-on-words from former Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt who promised quick action on the part of government (to combat the Great Depression) during his "first hundred days" in office. One hundred hours is also the amount of legislative time available to congress prior to the President's 2007 State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 23.

The plan comes in the wake of the 2006 midterm elections in the United States, in which the Democratic Party won control of both houses of Congress (in the House by a margin of 233-202 and in the Senate by a margin of 51-49) after twelve years of Republican control (January 1995 to January 2007). Twelve years earlier, in January 1995, the Republicans had articulated their own legislative plan which they called The Contract with America.

Plan components

The Plan as outlined by Speaker Pelosi is as follows:

Day One
  • "Break the link between lobbyists and legislation" with new House rules
Further enumerated to: "Curb lobbyists' influence by banning meals and gifts to lawmakers and requiring more disclosure and oversight."
Day Two
Further enumerated to: "Implement unfulfilled recommendations of the September 11th Commission and beef up port security."
Day Three
Day Four
Further enumerated to: "Pass another bill that allows expanded federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, betting on better prospects for an override if the president vetoes it again."
Time Remaining in 100 Hours
Further enumerated to: "Reduce prescription-drug prices for seniors by requiring Medicare to negotiate rates with pharmaceutical companies."
  • End the Bush tax cuts for the Americans "at a certain level" (those making $250,000.00 a year or more), both to reduce the deficit and to more fairly distribute the economic burden in the United States
  • End large tax subsidies for large oil companies, for the reasons outlined above and also to help foster energy independence

Political responses

The plan is populist in nature, and has drawn both praise and criticism. One of the 100-Hour Plan's greatest opponents is former Speaker Dennis Hastert, who has said of Speaker Pelosi's intended changes that, "By repealing President Bush's tax relief, she would devastate economic prosperity for Americans and burden taxpayers at all levels."

This plan has also been criticized as being unrealistic "because the Senate's rules give the minority party more power than the House does to slow down legislation, it could be weeks or months before final action on some of the House's proposed measures takes place."


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