New Leadership In Congress

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The 110th Congress convened Thursday with Democrats in charge of the Senate and the House of Representatives for the first time in more than a decade. Following their rise to control in congress in November, the Democrats pledged to take on big issues including raising the national minimum wage.

Blinn College professor and political analyst, Blanche Brick says changes will come, but the the public needs to know they may not happen as quickly as estimated.

"We are talking about a hundred hours of legislating time," Brick said. "This is going to be the equivalent of more like 361 hours and 15 days if they are at the task as it's projected."

Brick also said it seems Democrats have front loaded their one hundred hours agenda with items that both congressional parties, mostly agree on. She said it is a way for them to make some progress while appearing to move their agenda items ahead.

Another one of the big topics on the agenda is new rules for legislation reform. Democrats want to implement rules to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation." Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says both Democrats and Republicans realize voters want something done.

"Clearly we need to restore confidence of the American people in their elected officials in Congress. That was part of the message that I think was sent and received loud and clear on November 7th," Cornyn says.

According to Blanche Brick possible solutions on this issue and others will vary, but says she believes the new Congress will be able to come to a common ground. Senator Cornyn is also hopeful that the new congress can work together.

"We can reach consensus on issues where everybody in America wins a result of the work we're able to do here," Cornyn said.