H.R. 1 , which provides for the implementation of remaining recommendations by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.Implementation of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations is long overdue. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission submitted 41 recommendations to the Bush Administration and Congress to fill critical gaps in our nation's homeland security. More than two years later, many of these recommendations have only been partially implemented and others not at all.
The House has passed H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. Nearly nine out of ten Americans believe that it is time to increase the minimum wage, and I could not agree more. The minimum wage has not been increased in almost 10 years. This is the longest Americans have had to wait for an increase in the minimum wage since the original law was enacted in 1938.
H.R. 3, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. This research is supported by 72 percent of Americans and the majority of the Congress. H.R. 3 is supported by over 200 patient groups, universities, and scientific societies, and has been endorsed by more than 75 national and local newspapers and eighty Nobel Laureates.
H.R. 4 will require the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, to negotiate for lower drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. This legislation does not say how the negotiating authority should be implemented, but instead allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to determine the best way to negotiate for the lowest prices.
H.R. 5 will cut the interest rate on student loans in half over the next 5 years. This will save students an average of $4,400 over the life of their loan. And because the effort is focused on subsidized loans, the relief will assist those who need it most--low and middle income families.