Change Is Here Already

Even as the Senate preps for a debate next week on an economic stimulus bill, it's already obvious that "change" has come to Washington, D.C., ten days after Barack Obama was sworn in as President.

Yesterday, Obama signed into law his first bill, a measure on pay equity for women.

Known as the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act," the bill was a top agenda item for both labor unions and women's groups.

It pretty much nullifies a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 2007, where the High Court ruled that Ledbetter was too late in filing a lawsuit against her employer for salary discrimination.

The bill had been approved by the House last year but died in the Senate, due to objections by Republicans.

Now with expanded majorities in both the House and Senate, Democrats don't have to worry as much about Republican filibusters.

That was demonstrated again last night, as the Senate approved a bill on state children's health insurance programs (SCHIP.)

Democrats beat back a series of attempts by Republicans to slim down the $31.5 billion measure, which Democrats say will provide health coverage to four million more kids.

The plan is much like one that then President George W. Bush vetoed twice.

The bill must still be reconciled with one approved last week by the House.

Obama hasn't even been in office for two weeks, and the Democrats are on the verge of delivering him two major pieces of legislation that were blocked in the Bush years.

I don't know that we will continue on this pace, but "change" is happening already.

Elections have consequences and we are certainly seeing that demonstrated right now.

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