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The First 100 Hours: A Preview of the New Congress and its Agenda

Democrats, who reclaimed a majority in Congress for the first time in 12 years, have planned an ambitious slate of new business in the House of Representatives.

House-speaker elect Nancy Pelosi of California has vowed to address key policy areas such as the budget, ethics, minimum wage, homeland security, and higher education in the first 100 hours of legislative business. The Senate begins with a similar agenda, and both houses of Congress face the daunting challenge of Iraq.

On January 3, Brookings Senior Fellow Thomas E. Mann led a distinguished panel of experts in the substance and politics of the initial agenda of the new Democratic majority. Participants included Alice Rivlin, Brookings scholar and first director of the Congressional Budget Office; Lois Dickson Rice, Brookings guest scholar in the Economic Studies Program; and Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow affiliated with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Mann, a noted congressional expert, provided opening remarks and moderated the discussion.

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