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Obama's First Big Bill

Robert Pear writes in the New York Times: "Congress gave final approval on Tuesday to a civil rights bill providing women, blacks and Hispanics with powerful new tools to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace. It is likely to be the first significant legislation signed by President Obama....

"The bill, named for Lilly M. Ledbetter, a longtime supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama, would make it easier for workers to win lawsuits claiming pay discrimination based on sex, race, religion, national origin, age or disability....

"Since taking office, Mr. Obama has signed one other piece of legislation, fixing the salary of the secretary of the interior."

Amy Goldstein writes in The Washington Post: "Coming exactly a week after Obama took office, the quick work of the new Congress -- and the scheduling of the president's first East Room signing ceremony -- are early emblems of an intention to give the government a more liberal tilt. They also signify a rebalancing of power among the government's branches, with newly ascendant Democrats overruling a decision that the Supreme Court made two years ago by a slender majority that included two conservative justices appointed by President George W. Bush."

By Dan Froomkin  |  January 28, 2009; 12:34 PM ET
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