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Reid Supports Public Option Reconciliation Plan

February 19, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Has the final shoe dropped in the recent boomlet of enthusiasm for the public option? Greg Sargent posts a statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] offering generic support for passing a public option through the Senate under reconciliation: If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstac...

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As of today, 18 Senators have signed a letter supporting the use of the reconciliation process to pass a public option. Now, the president's HHS secretary is implying that he could join the effort as well.

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The Incredible Shrinking Jobs Bill

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] is scrambling to find the votes for a pared down jobs bill, which itself was a pared down version of a jobs bill passed last year by House Democrats. To make a long story short, the House last December passed a $154 billion jobs bill (H.R.2847) prompting the Senate to consider a smaller $80 billion jobs bill, which Sen. Reid further shrank to a $15 billion jobs bill after complaints that the previous bill contained too many concessions to Republicans. ...

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Just days after President Obama signed “pay-go” legislation into law, Democrats want to bypass it to extend unemployment and COBRA healthcare benefits.

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Filibuster Reform

February 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

After three-and-a-half years of record obstructionism, Sen. Tom Harkin [D, IA] has introduced legislation to reform the Senate's filibuster process.

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Fresh off a meeting with Senate Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] is rewriting the Senate jobs bill, excising many of the tax cuts previously included to draw Republican support. In recent days, the shape of the bill has sparked an intra-party fight among Senate Democrats. Originally crafted by Sen. Dick Durbin [D, IL] and Sen. Byron Dorgan [D, ND], the process was hijacked by the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT] and Sen. Chuck Grassley [R, IA], two leadi...

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Dems See Stimulus Replay In Senate Jobs Bill

February 11, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] is meeting with fellow Democratic senators today to hammer out an agreement over an $85 billion jobs bill.

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Congress Links

February 10, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Yet more snow has shut down Congress and most of Washington, D.C. As lawmakers enjoy another unscheduled snow day, let's take a look at some articles and blog posts of note from today:

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GOP Senator Blocks All Obama Appointees

February 5, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Here is a perfect example of how the Senate works: Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL] has put a blanket hold on every Obama nominee because of a disagreement over two pork projects in his state.

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Congress Links

February 4, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Congress is clearing out ahead of an expected snow storm today but lawmakers did manage to accomplish a few things before skipping town. Here are a few articles and blog posts on note from today:

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Senate Dems Unveil Jobs Agenda

February 4, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Democrats this morning announced an $80 billion-plus "jobs agenda" package that they'll begin debating next week. It's going to be taken up as a series of small bills. So what's included? Well, nobody know for sure. But from various reports, it looks like in will include at least these five things:

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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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The Week Ahead in Congress

January 24, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Still no path forward for health care reform. House Democrats have a light legislative schedule this week, and they will hear Obama's State of the Union address on Wednesday. The Senate's going to be voting on a slate of controversial deficit amendments and on confirming Fed Chief Ben Bernanke to another term.

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At 1:25 this morning, the Senate voted to defeat a Republican filibuster of the Democrats' health care bill. The vote brings the Senate beyond the last big hurdle remaining for the bill and virtually guarantees that it will see final approval before the Senate leave town on Christmas Eve for recess.

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Bloomberg reports that the health care bill reported out of the Senate Finance Committee (S. 1796) contains numerous provisions aimed at specific states. These enticements could be used to secure wavering Democrats or allow senators in tough 2010 election races to tout to constituents.

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