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Republicans Can Break All the Rules They Want, But Democrats MUST Keep Their Promises

Reported by Janie - January 3, 2007 -

With the "First 100 Hours" of the newly elected Democratic Congress looming, Fox is looking for any way possible to attack the Democrats before they even step foot inside the Capital Rotunda as the majority.

Major Garrett added to the attacks during last night's (1/2) "Special Report", when he filed a report on the Democrats' decision to push through legislation without allowing Republicans to add any additional amendments. What Garrett refused to mention was that much of the legislation in question was already discussed during the 109th Congress.

MG: "Throughout the midterm campaign and the day after her election triumph, House Speaker to be Nancy Pelosi promised Democrats would give vanquished Republicans a bigger say in legislation than Republicans gave them when they ruled the house."

Nancy Pelosi (clip): "Democrats pledge stability and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here, and we pledge partnership with the Republicans in Congress and with the President and not partisanship."

MG: "But on the cusp of assuming power, Pelosi and other top House Democrats have now decided to deny Republicans any chance to amend high-priority bills Democrats intend to pass in the opening weeks of the 110 th Congress."

According to the Washington Post, "Democratic leaders said they are not going to allow Republican input into the ethics package and other early legislation, because several of the bills have already been debated and dissected, including the proposal to raise the minimum wage, which passed the House Appropriations Committee in the 109th Congress, said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi."

Garrett continued, "House Democrats have an ambitious agenda, one that many say needs to be moved quickly to show America the House is indeed under new management."

Chris Van Hollen (clip): "We do want to move an agenda forward, in 100 hours on key issues that we promised the American people. And we think it's important to move forward on those promises."

Comment: Van Hollen also had this to say to the Washington Post, "My sense is there's going to be a testing period to gauge to what extent the Republicans want to join us in a constructive effort or whether they intend to be disruptive. It's going to be a work in progress." This comment was not mentioned on Fox.

MG: "Key Republican, David Dreier, a member of the outgoing GOP leadership who has to date been reluctant to criticize Pelosi, today lashed out."

DD: "There is tremendous inconsistency in virtually everything we are seeing in their plans, and I'm so disappointed. They've basically said they're going to stomp all over minority rights."

Comment: Dreier is complaining about what he sees in their plans, not in anything they've actually done. On top of that, Dreier, who was a part of the GOP controlled Congress is complaining about "minority-rights" when the Congress he was a part of refused to even respond to Pelosi when she asked for a "Minority Bill of Rights", which Dreier and fellow Republicans are now seeking for themselves.

In 2004, Pelosi submitted this "Minority Bill of Rights" to former Speaker Dennis Hastert, who refused to respond. The Washington Post reported on this in 2004.

"For decades, the party in power has used House parliamentary rules to limit the minority party's ability to amend bills and shape debates. But Democrats -- in the minority for 10 years after four decades of control -- say Republicans have gone to unreasonable lengths in recent years. GOP leaders dispute this, but congressional scholars and even some rank-and-file Republicans agree in whole or in part."

After giving Dreier his pulpit, Garrett went on to explain the bills Democrats are looking to pass, including ethics reform, spending and tax rules, implementing "unfinished 9/11 Commission reforms such as streamlining communications among first responders and beefing up inspections of air and ship cargo" (comment: notice how Garrett uses the term "unfinished" as though these were ever addressed by Republicans), raising the minimum wage, funding stem cell research, negotiating drug prices for seniors, lowering the interest rate on student loans, etc.

Garrett turned to Democrat Martin Frost to explain the Democrat's decision, "I think that Speaker Pelosi and the others are serious about providing a degree of procedural fairness, but you're not going to see it in this first week or two because they want to be able to pass things and say 'look, we did things right away.'"

MG: "One Democratic leader told Fox Republicans will have opportunities later to amend House bills."

CVH: "Nancy Pelosi has clearly committed to a set of principles that will involve the Republican party more often."

MG: "But Republican Dreier told Fox Democrats who once promised openness now appear defensive."

Comment: Garrett uses the term "but" to make it appear as though he is refuting what Van Hollen is saying - and goes on to only use a Republican's opinion to attempt to dispute Van Hollen's comment.

DD: "If you have confidence in your vision and your goals and what it is you want to accomplish, you clearly can allow other options to be put out there and then be victorious."

Comment: Then I guess Dreier, and the rest of his party, weren't exactly confident with the agenda the GOP has held for the last 10 years.

MG: "All this early political sparring is limited to the entirely to the House because in the Senate, Republicans will soon be the minority, they know they have all sorts of procedurals means to slow things down. Democrats, of course, know that too. That's why House Democrats want to move with all deliberate speed on their agenda."

Comment: Garrett clearly states that Republicans are going to attempt to use "procedurals" to try to slow down the Democrats' agenda - so why hasn't Garrett or Fox filed a report on that?

Garrett finished, "The White House has taken note of all this, and tomorrow in the WSJ President Bush will pen his own op-ed explaining how he intends to work with a House and Senate Democratic majorities. Meetings will follow at the White House between those majorities and the President. And some Republicans will be involved too."

Comment: Garrett simply followed Fox formula in an attempt to discredit the Democratic majority, and their agenda, before they even have the opportunity to take office. Garrett uses Republican Dreier's opinions as though they are gospel, and refuses to mention certain facts that would actually make this report "fair and balanced."