Beltway Happenings
October 18, 2006--With less than three weeks to go until the mid-term elections the chairmen of the party's congressional campaign committees, Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), were scheduled to speak at the National Press Club.  However Emanuel bowed out citing illness, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who is co-chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, subsituted. 
Despite signs strongly suggesting that the Democrats will regain the majority in the House and the fact that his own seat is being strongly challenged, Reynolds presented a confident air.  He conceded Republicans had the "wind in our face;" indeed a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters found that 75 percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing while only 16 percent approve.  Nonetheless, Reynolds spoke of a "proven strategy of localizing races."  "Voters may hate Congress, but they like their congressman," Reynolds said.  He said Republicans will benefit from strong candidates, smart campaigns and solid fundraising or "members, money and message."
Van Hollen vowed greater accountability if Democrats win.  He outlined an agenda of six immediate steps Democrats will take in their first 100 hours if they regain the majority.  Specifically Van Hollen said Democrats would roll back subsidies to the oil and gas industry; raise the minimum wage; roll back the cuts that were made to the higher education program; implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations; present incentives for people to save for personal retirement, supplementing not replacing Social Security; and take up the prescription drug bill to make it so the federal government can negotiate for price.  Reynolds derided this as the "tenth draft and the tenth month" of Democratic plans. 
National Republican Congressional Committee
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action