Wish List

June 20, 2007

June 20, 2007

Do you have a wish list? I guess we all have a wish list. When Republicans lost control of the Congress last November, I put together a wish list of legislation that I hoped could be enacted under the neyv Democratic Congressional leadership with Republican George Bush still President.

We are approaching the half-year mark of 2007 and this is a good time to review how that "wish list" stands.

Comprehensive Immigration -- we don't have a comprehensive immigration bill yet but Senator Reed has given it another chance. It is not going to be easy. It should be easy with the President and Democratic leadership behind it, but it's not. There is still a long way to go. I put chances of passage at 60%.

Locks and Dams on the Upper Mississippi -- we have been trying to get legislation to overhaul the antiquated, inefficient structures for years. With bills through both the House and Senate, conferencing those bills, getting final passage, and the President's signature looks pretty good. I say 80% likely.

Can we pass Death Tax legislation, some kind of compromise extending beyond 2010? I guess that's just wishful thinking. When we get close to 2011 and a reversion to the old confiscatory tax rate, then maybe -- just maybe.

A new Farm Bill -- I think so and I still think it will be patterned close to the 2002 bill. I say 90% chance of getting it done this year.

Energy Legislation -- to give a big boost to bio fuels. A lead pipe cinch.

A New WTO Agreement -- not a chance. Countries around the world just don't want to make any more concessions. That includes Europe, USA, and developing countries.

That's the list. There is still hope. At some point, this Congress has to recognize that they look pretty bad if the can't get anything done.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.