Only ABC Marks 100 Days for Dem Rule & Failure to Pass 'Six for '06' Campaign Promises

Back in January, ABC anchor Charles Gibson was the most triumphant over supposed Democratic achievements after taking control of Congress. But on Friday night, only Gibson's World News, of the three broadcast network evening newscasts, reported on the failure of Democrats to pass the bills they promised in their first one hundred days. (Brian Williams' lead on NBC: “A new and growing political problem for the White House: Missing e-mails.”) Gibson had trumpeted on January 4 how video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the House floor holding a baby while she talked to colleagues demonstrated “the ultimate in multitasking: Taking care of the children and the country” (NewsBusters post with video) and two weeks later he celebrated how House Democrats “completed their scheduled hundred hours of work in just about 42 hours, so they can put the other 58 in the bank.” (NewsBusters item)

On Friday night's World News, Gibson explained: “When Democrats took control of the Congress in January, they promised it would be a new day. They'd get things done. They even had a checklist. Well, a hundred days after taking control, we've checked the checklist.” Jake Tapper made clear how they've come up very short, pointing out how the Democrats “have no major legislative accomplishments to mark this anniversary. None of their 'Six for '06' campaign promises last year have made it to the President's desk.” Tapper listed several bills which passed in the House but have yet to be reconciled with the Democratic Senate and he noted how Democrats have “conducted twice as many oversight hearings over the Bush administration as Republicans did last year.” Tapper concluded, through the perspective of Democrats, on a hopeful note: “Democratic leaders know conflict with the White House is not enough for voters. So in the next hundred days they'll try to deliver on the promises of their first hundred days.”

Charles Gibson introduced the April 13 World News story:
“When Democrats took control of the Congress in January, they promised it would be a new day. They'd get things done. They even had a checklist. Well, a hundred days after taking control, we've checked the checklist. Here's our senior political correspondent, Jake Tapper.”

Jake Tapper: “The anniversary of the Democrats' takeover of Congress one hundred days ago was greeted with scorn today by Republicans.”

Senator Trent Lott: “Here we are, on Friday the 13th, discussing the first 100 days of the 110th Congress. They're gone, may they rest in peace.”

Tapper: “Democrats, after all, have no major legislative accomplishments to mark this anniversary. None of their 'Six for '06' campaign promises last year have made it to the President's desk.”

Senator Mitch McConnell: “The result of that of course is that nothing has been accomplished.”

Tapper: “Democrats in the House and Senate have passed bills [list on screen] allowing funding of embryonic stem cell research, increasing the minimum wage, implementing 9/11 commission recommendations and funding the Iraq war while requiring troops to start withdrawing. But Democratic leaders have yet to reconcile the House and Senate versions of these bills and send them to the White House. And while campaigning last year Democrats emphasized the laws they would pass, today they say their success should be judged differently.”

Senator Charles Schumer: “Change, accountability and oversight have become more than words, they've become our mission.”

Tapper: “Democrats conducted twice as many oversight hearings over the Bush administration as Republicans did last year -- on Iraq, the fired U.S. Attorneys, the environment, the list goes on. And this new dynamic has led to chest-thumping standoffs between the White House and Capitol Hill.”

President Bush on March 19: “They have a responsibility to get this bill to my desk without strings and without delay.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 28: “Calm down with the threats. There's a new Congress in town.”

Tapper: “Democratic leaders know conflict with the White House is not enough for voters. So in the next hundred days they'll try to deliver on the promises of their first hundred days. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Capitol Hill.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center