In remarks dripping with wit, sarcasm and the agenda of the Congress as it undertakes its promised 100 hours of marathon legislating, freshman Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., made his first official floor speech shortly after noon here Tuesday. The text follows:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, Jan. 8th, was the 72nd anniversary of the birth of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. Elvis was a Memphian, a U.S. Army veteran, and an ambassador of goodwill throughout the world through his music and movies.

“I’m here to tell you that Elvis is still alive today in spirit and as relevant as ever. To quote the King as we proceed through the 100 hours, ‘it’s now or never’ that we make the changes America needs.

“When this Democratic majority finishes with the status quo, we’ll be ‘all shook up’ because we will do the people’s will so we will not be ‘returned to sender.’

“And we won’t be cruel to those who are being paid the minimum wage.

“Thank ya. Thank ya very much.”

What the speech lacked in specificity, it made up for in innuendo. Before he sat down after his first on-the-record minute of floor time, Cohen hinted at where he is on President Bush’s expected call Wednesday night for more troops in Iraq.

“Mr. Speaker, by the way: I’ve noticed in my office _ I think we need a surge protector,” he said. “Can you get one up there?”

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