This week marked the beginning of the 111th Congress. The new session begins at a challenging time in our history, but together with the Obama Administration and our Republican colleagues, we will work to address the pressing issues facing our nation. We have already started work on a recovery package aimed at creating jobs and strengthening our economy, and I expect Congress to take action soon.
On Thursday, the Electoral College formalized the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. President-Elect Obama has already shown that he's an exceptional leader who will rise to the occasion and I look forward to working with him on the challenges facing our country.
Today, the House passed two bills that address pay discrimination in the workplace. All too often, women are cheated out of equal pay which robs them of their right to earn a livelihood, provide for their families, and secure the dignity of their labor. Pay discrimination has an undue impact on every woman in every workplace in America, and passage of this bill marks another step forward in the fight for full equality.
The House also passed a resolution in support of Israel. By offering this resolution, we recognize Israel’s right to act in self-defense—the same right claimed by any other sovereign nation when faced with a similar threat.
Next week, we expect to bring to the Floor legislation on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that ensures low-income children have access to health care. This legislation, vetoed twice by President Bush, is especially important as families struggle to afford health insurance during this recession. We also expect to consider a bill to amend the Troubled Asset Relief Program to strengthen accountability, close loopholes, increase transparency, and require foreclosure mitigation is a key component of any future action.