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Senate's female Democrats present agenda for change


WASHINGTON -- Led by Maryland's Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, the Senate's nine female Democrats unveiled their "checklist for change" yesterday, challenging Republican leaders to address issues they said are critical to the nation's future.

"The Republican leadership has squandered time, squandered opportunities and squandered taxpayers' dollars," Mikulski said.

The group said the Senate should address nine issues before the end of this year, including:

Making health care more affordable for small-business owners and employees

Increasing federal aid for higher education

Shoring up the veterans' health care system

Taking steps to better prepare for natural disasters and terrorist attacks, and

Passing a final version of a pension reform bill.

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