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Lieberman Introduces DADT Repeal Bill

March 5, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Sen. Joe Lieberman [D, CT] on Wednesday introduced legislation (S.3065) that would halt the discharges of gay and lesbian service members and allow for the eventual repeal of the “don't ask, don't tell policy” banning gays from serving openly in the military.

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In what were thought to be the waning days of the health care reform process, Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] came out of left field and introduced the issue of abortion to the debate - nearly sinking everything. Now that health care is again inching towards a finish line, Stupak has returned.

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Has a new day dawned in the Senate? On Monday night, five Republicans helped to hand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] a big and much-needed victory by joining with Democrats on defeating a Republican filibuster of his $15 billion jobs bill. The bipartisan 62-30 vote came even after Reid scaled the bill back last week by removing some unrelated tax cuts, which were popular with Republicans, and an unemployment insurance extension, which is popular with everyone in Congress.

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Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] is the latest in a growing chorus line of conservative and moderate Democrats opposing President Obama’s plan to try 9/11 suspects in New York. As I mentioned before, Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC] has sponsored a bill (S.2977) banning government dollars from going toward any civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 conspirators. A handful of Democrats including Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA], Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] and now Sen. Nelson are co-spon...

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Senate Passes Bill Softening Tax Penalties

February 10, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The Senate yesterday passed the Small Business Penalty Fairness Act (S. 2917), which, according to Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] “will protect small businesses that were acting in good faith from harsh IRS penalties.”

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Shelby Lifts Blanket Hold On Obama Nominees

February 9, 2010 - by Eric Naing

When we last checked in on Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL], he had placed a blanket hold on all of President Obama’s pending nominees. This week, the hold ensnaring most of those nominees has been lifted. Shelby, as you recall, was angry because two earmarks that could mean billions for Alabama were in jeopardy. Yesterday, Shelby’s office released a statement confirming that most of the holds had been lifted: The purpose of placing numerous holds was to get the White House's attention on two i...

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Congress Links

February 2, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Despite being a slow day in Congress, it was a busy day on Capitol Hill. Here's a look at what you might have missed: Sen. John Kerry [D, MA] has joined Sen. Arlen Specter [D, PA] in calling for a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision lifting limits on corporate cash in campaigns. (The Hill) A group of centrist Senate Democrats including Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA], Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA], Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] and Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] ...

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Congress Links

February 1, 2010 - by Eric Naing

President Obama's 2011 budget dropped today and grabbed most of the headlines, but it wasn't the only thing happening on Capitol Hill. Here's what you might have missed: The Washington Post chronicles the slow death of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. What once was a key component of President Obama's plan to regulate the financial industry has slowly lost more and more of its teeth as the proposal works its way through the legislative process. The House already passed a version of th...

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Congress Struggles To Pass Student Loan Reform

January 29, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Opponents of wasteful government spending might want to turn their eyes to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R.3221). This bill promises to end government subsidies to the student loan industry saving billions.

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Congress Links

January 27, 2010 - by Eric Naing

State of the Union Day is finally here. As the president sets the agenda for the coming year, many issues from climate change legislation to “don't ask, don't tell” could be affected, but none moreso than healthcare:

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Will Cap-and-Trade Go the Way of the Public Option?

December 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Now that they're just about done with removing the public option from the health care bill, several of the same conservative Democrats in the Senate are working on removing the central component -- cap and trade -- from the climate change bill.

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Senate Rejects Nelson Abortion Amendment

December 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By a vote of 54-45, the Senate today voted to table Sen. Ben Nelson's [D, NE] amendment that would have blocked all women purchasing insurance on the new Exchanges from buying a plan that covers elective abortions, even if they are paying for the plan entirely with their own money.

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