The First 100 Hours

In a time before cars, jets, and the Internet, the world moved much slower. During a simpler, less connected era, it wasn't a problem that for 60 days the nation lived in political limbo as the president-elect waited to magically one day be turned into the president. Those days have long since passed.

This economic crisis is the worst in decades and is only getting worse by the day. We needed bold action yesterday, not two months from now. More major banks are in trouble. Three of the biggest manufacturing companies in the United States may go bankrupt. Layoffs and unemployment are at record highs. The number of uninsured is going to skyrocket over the next few months. And because of outdated constitutional restraints, the new president will not take office for another 51 days. I strongly encourage the nation consider a new amendment to rectify this problem.

Now is not the time for the new Congress and the new president to pretend we are still living in the 19th century. We have cellphones, emails, and video conferencing. It used to be that the first 100 days of a new presidency were the most critical, but the nation simply can't wait that long. Barack Obama will be judged not by his first 100 days but his first 100 hours in office.

Except to cast votes, members of Congress don't need to be in Washington to get the important work done. We have 51 days before Barack Obama officially becomes president. That is plenty of time to negotiate, write, and whip for the new legislation this nation desperately needs. By January, 20 2009, there should be an economic stimulus bill and a health care reform bill waiting on Obama's desk ready to be signed. The new Congress and the new president mustn't allow America to burn while they fiddle with arcane tradition or partisan bickering.

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