Washington Honors Ford, Prepares for Change It's a busy week in Washington as 2007 begins. Tuesday, President Bush leads the nation at a memorial service to honor the late President Ford. And Thursday, the 110th Congress is sworn in, with the Democrats taking charge of both chambers. NPR's Senior Washington Editor, Ron Elving, talks to Melissa Block about what we can expect.
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Washington Honors Ford, Prepares for Change

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Washington Honors Ford, Prepares for Change

Washington Honors Ford, Prepares for Change

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Ron, let's start with tomorrow's big event. That's the funeral service for former President Ford.

RON ELVING: Very few of the leading folks from the administration or Congress or other dignitaries were there and it was, of course, a holiday weekend. Most of these people were traveling or at home. And tomorrow there'll be a lot of effort to make up for that and after the funeral the body will be flown back to Grand Rapids, Michigan for one more private service and then lying in repose and internment Wednesday at the Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids.

BLOCK: And as we mentioned, Congress will be under new management also this week. Tell us about the ceremony that will kick off the 110th Congress.

ELVING: And right after that, the younger children up in the galleries start to go bad and so they wrap things up and there's a lot of picture taking and people go home.

BLOCK: And Democrats on the House side have pledged a busy first week. What's on the agenda?

ELVING: It's hours of floor business time. And they will be talking about minimum wage, pay-as-you-go rules for budgeting, adopting all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Quite a few things they want to do in a big hurry in the next several weeks.

BLOCK: And one more item on that agenda is a bill that would undo part of the new Medicare prescription drug plan.

ELVING: That's correct and there's not at this point a great deal of agreement as to whether or not you can really achieve these savings but they are going to try to save money through group bargaining. This is something that the Democrats promised throughout the 2006 campaign.

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