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Renaming the Navy

May 4, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

A bill that will be voted on today in the House has more co-sponsors than any bill in Congress since 1973, which is as far back as electronic data on bill sponsorship is available. The bill is H.R. 24, and it would rename the Navy as the "Department as the Navy and the Marine Corps" because, according to the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3], most people don't know that the Marine Corp is under the umbrella of the Navy Department, including members of Congress.

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Native American Health Care Reform

April 8, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (H.R.3590) was a very big deal to more than just Vice President Biden – it also represents the successful culmination of years of work on behalf of Native Americans and their allies in both parties. Peppered throughout the bill are numerous provisions that permanently reauthorize and extend a landmark health care law governing American Indians and Native Alaskans that expired in 2001.

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McCain: We Will Defund Health Care Reform

March 31, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] describes an emerging Republican strategy for undoing the Democrats' new health care reform law.

"When I say repeal, people say you're not going to be able to do it," he said on KQTH FM Radio. "I am confident we will get majorities in both houses in the fall. And that means the power of the purse...If we cut off the money, it doesn't take an override to a veto."

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Now that Democrats have put the finishing touches on health care reform, they can get back to the truly important work of Congress: bickering with Republicans over Obama appointees. With a two-week Easter recess looming, players in both parties are wondering whether President Obama will use that time to pluck the pro-labor Craig Becker out of Senate confirmation Purgatory and appoint him to the National Labor Relations Board.

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McCain and Lieberman's Nightmarish Detention Bill

March 13, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

One of Congress's most notoriously hawkish duos, Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] and Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT], recently introduced legislation in response to President Obama's decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day airplane bomber, in a criminal court. Their proposal, which they are calling the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act, would empower the U.S. military to arrest anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise, who is suspected of terrorist associations and detain them indefinitely, without right to a trial.

Here's my analysis with links to specific sections of the actual bill text and a few excerpts of key sections.

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McCain Backs Away From His Own Vitamin Bill

March 9, 2010 - by Eric Naing

After receiving pushback from Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT], Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] has pulled his support for his own bill regulating vitamin supplement manufacturers. Some of Hatch's biggest donors, of course, are in the vitamin supplement industry.

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Vice President Joe Biden spoke yesterday at the National Defense University about the need to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A major tenet of the administration's nuclear weapons agenda is to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which Biden believes is necessary to preserve global security: The Treaty’s basic bargain - that nuclear powers pursue disarmament and non-nuclear states do not acquire such weapons, while gaining access to civilian nuclear technology - is t...

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A bill to give the Food and Drug Administration more power to regulate the sale of vitamin supplements is sparking heated opposition from the multi-billion dollar dietary supplement industry and creating strange bedfellows.

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Congress Links

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Even though the House and Senate are in recess until next week, the drama continues on Capitol Hill. Here are a few articles and blog posts of note from the day:

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Congress Links

February 3, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Here is Wednesday's look at some articles and blog posts of interest: General Electric and Comcast are throwing money at key lawmakers on panels that will hold hearings on the companies' upcoming merger. Congressmen who have received donations from the companies include Rep. Rick Boucher [D, VA-9], Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY], Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT], Rep. Terry Lee [R, NE-2], Rep. Charlie Melancon [D, LA-3] and Rep. Cliff Stearns [R. FL-6] (The Hill) In 2006, Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] sai...

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If "Reinstate Glass-Steagall" didn't sound so arcane, it would have been the lead rallying cry for the financial reform movement over the last year. More than any other act of Congress, the 1999 law to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, a New-Deal-era law separating commercial banking from investment banking, has been named as a main cause of the collapse and, more significantly, the resulting bailouts of "too big to fail" banks.

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