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Dealing WIth Libya

June 3, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

House Republicans have finally decided on how to deal with the growing discontent over that pesky, probably unconstitutional war in Libya. They're going to put the Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] withdrawalresolution that they pulled from the floor earlier in the week because it might have passed back on the calendar for a vote Friday. But they're also going to hold a vote on a new, non-binding resolution, from Speaker John Boehner [R, OH-8], that criticizes that Obama for not go through the proper channels in authorizing the war and requiring him to provide Congress with detailed info about the rationale behind getting involved. The strategy: give anti-war and constitutionalist Reps. something meaningful to vote for, but also give middle-of-the-road Reps. a way to allow Obama to continue his war but still be able to tell their constituents that they voted against it.

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Yesterday, House Republican leadership pulled Rep. Dennis Kucinich's [D, OH-10] resolution forcing an end to U.S. involvement in Libya from the floor after it became clear that it may have actually passed. The Republicans either don't want to give Kucinich a win, or they don't actually want to get in the way of the expansion of presidential war authority. They do, however, want to take the opportunity to embarrass Obama. And they want to at least appear to defend Congress' constitutional role as the sole war-declaring power. So they're in a bit of a pickle. 

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The House Republican leadership is worried that Congress might stand up to the Obama Administration and assert its constitutional prerogative as the only branch of government that can declare war. The House was scheduled to vote this afternoon on a a privileged resolution from Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10]directing the President, pursuant to the War Powers Act, to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya. But the House leadership has pulled it from the floor because, according to Republican aides who spoke with Fox News, "it became clear that it might succeed."

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Defunding Libya

March 23, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

When Congress comes back from recess they're going to have about a week and a half to pass another stopgap bill to prevent the government running. If the military operation in Libya are still going on at that point, as many expect they will be, the bill, which is considered a "must pass," will give Congress an opportunity to use their authority over federal budget to wind it down. That effort is going to be led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10], who announced his intention to introduce a defund Libya amendment in a "Dear Colleague" letter yesterday:

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Kucinich Will Vote "Yes"

March 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

When health care passed the House in November, Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] was one of the 39 Democrats who voted "no." He was one of the only vote Democrats lost to the left; the only Democrat voting against it because the bill didn't do enough to eliminate for-profit insurance.

But, this morning, he said he will vote "yes" on the Senate's health care bill, even though it is more conservative than the House health care bill he originally voted "no" on.

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Earlier this week, the House voted on a resolution (H.Con.Res.248) from Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] directing President Obama to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan within 30 days. As expected, the resolution failed. But it failed by a larger spread than I think most would expect. Only 65 members of the 435-member, Democrat-dominated House of Representatives voted for the bill.

You can see who voted "yes " on withdrawing the troops here: 60 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

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The Senate health care bill already has language to let individual states opt out of the federal system and set up their own health care system. If a few changes were made to the language using the budget reconciliation sidecar, the provision could help shore up liberal votes in the House.

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Bills on the Floor this Week

March 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The health care reform process continues in the background, but Congress will also be voting on other consequential legislation this week. The House is scheduled to debate and vote on winding down the war in Afghanistan and impeaching a New Orleans judge on corruption charges. The Senate, meanwhile, will continue working on jobs legislation.

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Two More Democrats Target Bank Bonuses

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Two Senate Democrats are throwing another log on the now-annual firestorm over excessive bank bonuses. Earlier this month, Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA] and Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA] unveiled a proposal to tax employee bonuses at certain banks and Wall Street firms that received bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Dubbed the Taxpayer Fairness Act, Webb and Boxer's bill would impose a one-time, 50 percent tax on the bonuses at those firms and banks that exceeded $400,000 la...

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Bill Would Revoke Tax Breaks for Junk Food Ads

February 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] is promoting a bill in Congress H.R. 4310 that would eliminate tax deductibility for advertising and marketing of fast food and "food of poor nutritional value."

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The Week In Review

January 22, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Despite being one day shorter than usual, this week felt like non-stop parade of big news – almost all of it bad for the Democrats. Click through for a point-by-point rundown of what's happened over the past week and how it effects the biggest issues in Congress going forward.

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