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The Democratic Agenda

The Democrats will conclude their "Six for '06" agenda today with a vote on repealing tax breaks for oil companies. As USA Today puts it: "After taking on the restaurant, drug and banking industries, House Democrats top off their first 100 hours of majority status Thursday with a swipe at Big Oil." House Democratic leaders will hold a press conference later this afternoon to discuss their "Six for '06" accomplishments.

The AP notes, however, that the measure's prospects in the Senate are uncertain given the Democrats' narrow majority there and sharp opposition from some Republicans as well as the White House.

Yesterday, the House passed its bill to cut interest rates on student loans, the New York Times says. "The bill's easy passage - by 356 to 71, with 124 Republicans joining Democrats to support it - underscored the broad appeal of college affordability as an issue." The White House, however, has opposed the legislation, although it hasn't threatened to veto it."

The Wall Street Journal reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "is expected to announce today that she is creating a select committee on climate change and energy independence that will be empowered to hold hearings... Her strategy is to raise the profile of the issue and press for action by early summer. In an interview last evening, Ms. Pelosi said she saw energy independence and climate-change legislation as part of the next phase of the Democratic agenda after passing bills on issues such as the minimum wage and student loans."