Policymakers and the people who are paid to follow them will be forgiven if they feel like theyve been dropped into the movie Groundhog Day over the next several weeks: The legislative agenda of early 2010 is probably going to look a lot like the legislative agenda of 2009.
The experts tell us the U.S. economy started growing again last quarter. They point to positive signs such as the increase in the gross domestic product and an uptick in the Dow Jones industrial average. But the truth is, most American families are still not convinced.
The Senate is on the cusp of passing comprehensive reform of Americas health care system a goal that has eluded Congresses and residents going back to the administration of Teddy Roosevelt.
Before I came to the Senate, I was a small-business man. My wife and I owned three shoe stores. When I was showing someone a shoe and he said he didnt like it or couldnt afford it, I didnt try another sales pitch. I knew it was time to find another shoe one he liked and could afford.
The principal order of business for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2010 will be completing the unfinished business from 2009. Major legislation to invest in our nations surface transportation infrastructure, modernize air traffic control, bring economic development opportunities to distressed areas of the country, improve transportation on our inland waterways, enhance safety in the transport of hazardous materials, and protect our nations waters are on the committees agenda for next year.
Congressional efforts to reauthorize the nations surface transportation programs have stalled, and the stimulus has failed the American people. Unemployment has reached its highest level in over a quarter of a century.
As the bell tolls on the first session of the 111th Congress, the nations attention has returned to national security matters. On Dec. 1, President Barack Obama delivered a long-overdue speech on the strategy Americas brave men and women of the military will pursue in Afghanistan. The commander in chiefs speech was followed by several days of intense action on Capitol Hill as his national security team attempted to sell the strategy to a reluctant Congress.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet had a full agenda in 2009, and we will continue to move at an aggressive pace during the second session of the 111th Congress to foster an environment that allows our nation to continue its leadership in technological innovation, expands broadband usage, and increases the availability of new technological products and services to consumers and businesses. For these reasons, we will focus on: