In the News and on the Air: Change vs. No Change Unless the President listens; Murtha Looking Toward Leadership; and a Higher Minimum Wage.
NPR logo In the News and on the Air: Change vs. No Change

In the News and on the Air: Change vs. No Change

War forecast. It's the day after. Democrats won (at least) one house of Congress. But after an even bigger congressional victory by Republicans in 1994, President Bill Clinton cleaned their clocks.

NPR's Ken Rudin addresses that point this morning.

"It's still the same president of the United States. It's the same secretary of defense, as President Bush said he'd keep Donald Rumsfeld through the rest of his term. So while you will have more oversight, and you will have more investigations in the Democratic Congress, the war policy may not change unless President Bush listens to the other side."

Key word: Unless…

Murtha's mantra. Starting with a 1 p.m. news conference, the president will begin defining his relationship with newly empowered Democrats.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, who has been calling for a "redeployment" in U.S. troops in Iraq.

This vocal opponent of the war (and Vietnam veteran) insists that the election should change the White House view of his plan.

"In a sense, this was about Bush and his Iraq policy. And when he lost the majority in the House, by a resounding loss, he has to listen to the people."

Higher minimum. One thing that is likely to change is the amount of some workers' spare change.

Wall Street Journal reporter David Wessel says, "One thing is very clear: the minimum wage is going up."

House Democrats intend to pass an increase in the minimum wage on one of their first days in power.

That measure would have to eke through a closely divided Senate, and then earn the president's signature, but Wessel says that opposition to the popular increase is unlikely.

That's what we seem to know now. But remember the hypothesis we mentioned on Monday: with a fast-changing story like this, anything you think you know on the first day will probably turn out to be wrong.