Congressional Democrats are being put on alert by leaders that they should be ready to increase their workload and energy level if Sen. Barack Obama wins the White House in the fall.
While Hill Democratic leaders believe that Obama is generally following a policy agenda they laid out in 2006, they are putting members on notice that voters will be expecting much faster action on the policy points they have in common. "Expectations will be high," a gleeful House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters this morning. "We're prepared to govern, and we're prepared to lead," she added.
The leadership has just begin to suggest that members in both chambers consider hiring more aides to handle the likely rush of interest from constituents and plan to work longer hours in the early months of a potential Obama presidency. In addition to handling his agenda items, they expect to see a larger Democratic majority that will want its own plans approved and sent to the president.
Pelosi said that ending the war, advancing energy policy, and funding education will be top priorities, in addition to working on whatever economic plans are needed should the economy continue to suffer. She said that Congress is at a historic low in the polls because Democrats haven't acted on promises to deal with those issues.