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First Bill of the 111th Signed Into Law

January 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

It was S.J.Res.3, signed into law this morning by President Bush. This is the bill that lowers the salary for the Secretary of the Interior so that Ken Salazar can take the position without violating the Constitution. Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution says (in part): >No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall ha...

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More on the Stimulus Bill

January 15, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

* The House Ways and Means Committee released details today about the tax provisions falling under their jurisdiction in the stimulus bill. Tax cuts in the bill total about $275 billion and include Obama's "Making Work Pay Credit" for the middle class, refundable higher education tax credits, first-time home-buyer credits, renewable energy incentives and a smattering of tax cuts for businesses. The Committee will begin work on this section of the bill next week. * OMB Watch looks at the tax ...

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Recovery.gov

January 15, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The website picture above - Recovery.gov - will soon be transformed into a database for information on new spending originating from the $825 billion economic stimulus package. This part of Congress's effort to bring "a historic level of transparency, oversight and accountability" to the stimulus so that "taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and Americans can see results for their investment," as stated in the draft summary. Below is the mandate to build the site contained in the House's Ameri...

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House Dems Release Stimulus Summary

January 15, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

"House Democrats on Thursday unveiled an $825 billion economic recovery package, an expansive combination of spending and tax cuts that aims to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work and halt what is widely believed to be the nation’s worst recession since the Depression."

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New Earmark Transparency Rules

January 7, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Yesterday, Democrats and Republicans in Congress announced new rules designed to increase disclosure of the earmarks that lawmakers request in the annual appropriations bills. The rules would require the earmark information to be available on lawmakers' individual websites, early in the appropriations process, with an explanation of the earmark's purpose and why they should be funded with taxpayer money. All would definitely improve the current system. But Bill Allison on the Sunlight Founda...

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Obama and Pelosi Talk Stimulus

January 5, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

President-elect Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi today after a private meeting to discuss the economic stimulus package: ...

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The Obama Tax Cuts

January 4, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are crafting a plan to offer about $300 billion in tax cuts to individuals and businesses, a move aimed at attracting Republican support for an economic-stimulus package and prodding companies to create jobs.

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Obama's 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan'

January 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

In his weekly radio and video address this morning, President-elect Obama gave the most detailed description yet of his economic stimulus proposal, including a list of the five main goals his plan is designed to achieve.

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Catching Up

January 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Between road tripping up the East Coast, weathering a Nor'easter and celebrating 2009, I've lost track of the Congress rumor mill a bit. So, rather than try to fall right back into step, here's a rundown of what's been happening over the past few days with some of the major themes shaping up as the 111th Congress gets ready to convene on Tuesday. Click through for news on the massive stimulus package, the battle brewing over Roland Burris, Caroline Kennedy and

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