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CONGRESS & POLICY

This category contains 126 posts

John Boehner Fails To Rally Republican House Members Around ‘Plan B’

via New Jersey Area News Group Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the … Continue reading

In Light Of Sandy Hook Tragedy, Lawmakers Consider Banning Assault Weapons

via Patricia Zengerle and Susan Heavey, Reuters A growing number of lawmakers – including a leading pro-gun senator – called on Monday for a look at curbing assault weapons like the one used in a massacre at a Connecticut grade school, a sign that attitudes toward gun control could be shifting. Senator Joe Manchin, a … Continue reading

President Obama: Legal Recreational Marijuana Should Not Be Top Federal Priority

via Susan Heavey, Reuters President Barack Obama says federal authorities should not target recreational marijuana use in two Western states where it has been made legal given limited government resources and growing public acceptance of the controlled substance. His first comments on the issue come weeks after Washington state and Colorado voters supported legalizing pot, … Continue reading

U.S. Senate Passes Amendment Providing Abortion Insurance For Military Rape Victims

via Laura Bassett, The Huffington Post In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of … Continue reading

Grover Norquist’s GOP Tax Pledge: What It Is and How It Started

via Chris Good, ABC News As Congress wrangles over the fiscal cliff, one tiny document will loom large over the negotiations. Known in Republican circles simply as “The Pledge,” the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) Taxpayer Protection Pledge has steered GOP tax policy for decades, applying pressure to any candidate, lawmaker, or president who would … Continue reading

ACLU Sues Department of Defense Over Policy Barring Women From Combat

via Peter Henderson, Reuters The American Civil Liberties Union and four servicewomen sued the U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday to end a ban on women in combat, calling the military the last bastion of discrimination by the federal government and saying modern warfare has already put women in the line of fire. The civil rights … Continue reading

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Will Remain House Minority Leader

via Paul Kane, The Washington Post House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will remain atop the Democratic caucus for at least two more years, extending her role as Congress’s most vocal liberal voice opposing the Republican agenda despite a second straight election in which her party failed to win back the majority. She said she … Continue reading

Democrats Maintain Control Of Senate, Republicans Keep The House

via Lucy Madison, CBS News Despite hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending in races across the country, the political composition of Congress will look much the same next year as it does now, CBS News projects, with Democrats holding onto a majority in the Senate and Republicans retaining power in the House of … Continue reading

Fair Pay For Women Would Create ‘Huge’ Economic Stimulus, Economists Say

via Laura Bassett, The Huffington Post When 24-year-old preschool teacher Katherine Fenton stood up at the second presidential debate and asked the candidates what they planned to do about the gender wage gap, both candidates dodged the question, and conservatives collectively rolled their eyes at the mention of one of their least favorite of the … Continue reading

DHS Grants Same-Sex Couples Protection From Deportations

via Julia Preston, The New York Times The Department of Homeland Security has stated in writing that foreigners who are same-sex partners of American citizens can be included under an Obama administration policy suspending deportations of some immigrants who pose no security risk. In letters sent late Wednesday to several Democratic lawmakers, Homeland Security Secretary … Continue reading

California Bill Bans Gay Teen ‘Conversion’ Therapy

via AP, Fresno Bee California has become the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight. Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB1172 by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance. The law, which prohibits sexual orientation change efforts for anyone under 18, will stop children … Continue reading

U.S. Postal Service Hopes Junk Mail Will Boost Revenue

via Ron Nixon, The New York Times Customers might complain about the flood of unsolicited credit card applications, supermarket fliers and shopping catalogs in their mail, but the Postal Service is hoping to deliver even more. Faced with multibillion-dollar losses and significant declines in first-class mail, the post office is cutting deals with businesses and … Continue reading

Congress Does Bare Minimum To Avoid Shutdown, Ends Session To Hit Campaign Trail

via AP, Los Angeles Times The Senate closed the Capitol on Saturday after sending President Obama a spending bill that will make sure the government won’t shut down Oct. 1, the start of the new budget year. The measure passed early Saturday by a 62-30 vote — and then lawmakers skipped out of town to … Continue reading

Obama Administration Lawyers Argue NDAA Indefinite Detention Injunction Does Irreparable Harm

via Michael McAuliff, The Huffington Post Lawyers for the Obama administration are arguing that the United States will be irreparably harmed if it has to abide by a judge’s ruling that it can no longer hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial in military custody. The lawyers made the argument on Friday in seeking a stay … Continue reading

Congressman Honda: Paul Ryan’s Budget Would Destroy The American Dream

via Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Politix This election year Americans are faced with a difficult decision on how to best move our country forward. Among the proposals to address our economic challenges and federal deficit is one filled with extreme, regressive, and deeply cynical policy choices: that of congressman and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. … Continue reading

End-Of-Term Report: Obama’s Record Is Better Than The Woes Of America’s Economy Suggests

via The Economist Not since 1933 had an American president taken the oath of office in an economic climate as grim as it was when Barack Obama put his left hand on the Bible in January 2009. The banking system was near collapse, two big car manufacturers were sliding towards bankruptcy; and employment, the housing … Continue reading

Neither Obama Or Romney Show Much Interest In Pre-Election Day Deal On Sequestration

via Jeremy Herb, The Hill’s Ballot Box The tight presidential race has all but ensured that Congress will not pass a bill before the election that would halt sequestration cuts to the military. President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney have traded barbs over sequestration as the issue has amplified on the campaign trail … Continue reading

Where Is The Pro-Choice Movement?

via Charles P. Pierce, Esquire The remarks of Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, and Akin’s stubborn refusal to defenestrate himself to placate the party’s leaders who want him gone for saying things that they all agree should never be said out loud, has occasioned much guffawing and posturing — and, very probably, fundraising — … Continue reading

U.S. Congressional Budget Office Warns Of Worse Economic Wreckage From “Fiscal Cliff”

via David Lawder, Reuters Massive U.S. government spending cuts and tax hikes due next year will cause even worse economic damage than previously thought if Washington fails to come up with a solution, the Congressional Budget Office warned on Wednesday. Without action by Congress to avoid a “fiscal cliff,” Americans should expect a “significant recession” … Continue reading

Cellphone-Safety Advocates Want Congress To Force The FCC To Update Regulations

via Cecilia Kang, The Washington Post Devra Davis, a long-ignored evangelist on the health dangers of cellphones, finally feels like she’s been heard. As soon as next week, Congress is expected to say that a year-long investigation by the Government Accountability Office has found the Federal Communications Commission’s cellphone-safety regulations are woefully out of date. … Continue reading

Obama Signs The Honoring America’s Veterans Act, Restricting Westboro Military Funeral Protests

via Nick Wing, The Huffington Post President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 into law last week, providing a wide-ranging package of benefits to military personnel and enacting new restrictions on protests of service member funerals. “We have a moral sacred duty to our men … Continue reading

NYC Mayor Asks Supreme Court to Hear DOMA Challenge

via Julie Bolcer, The Advocate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn filed a brief Wednesday joining their constituent, Edith Windsor, in asking the Supreme Court to hear her challenge against the Defense of Marriage Act. Windsor, 83, is suing the federal government over $363,000 in estate taxes she was … Continue reading

Many Governors Are Still Unsure About Medicaid Expansion

via Michael Cooper, The New York Times How well the new health care law succeeds in covering millions of the poorest Americans will depend largely on undecided governors of both parties, who gathered here this weekend and spoke of the challenges of weighing the law’s costs and benefits in a highly charged political atmosphere and … Continue reading

How Protected Is Your Online Privacy?

via Editorial Board, The New York Times Cellphones, e-mail, and online social networking have come to rule daily life, but Congress has done nothing to update federal privacy laws to better protect digital communication. That inattention carries a heavy price. Striking new data from wireless carriers collected by Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and … Continue reading

U.S. Postal Service Will Likely Default

via Sean Reilly, Federal Times, USA Today The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is within weeks of defaulting on a legally required $5.5 billion payment into a health benefits fund for future retirees. So far, it appears House leaders have no intention of preventing that from happening — they have postponed any action on relief measures … Continue reading

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