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This Week in Congress: Senate Wrap-Up

August 3, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The House of Representatives has already left Washington for their month-long August recess, but the Senate is in session for one more week. Before they leave for their recess on Friday, the Senate will hold a tough debate on the future of the cash for clunkers program, try to make some crucial progress on health care legislation, and confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court.

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House Approves "Pay-As-You-Go" Budgeting Rules

July 22, 2009 - by Isabelle Cutting

The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009 passed after consideration in the House this afternoon by a vote of 265-166. The bill seeks to establish exactly what it defines in its title as a form of budget enforcement - that Congress can only spend money if it saves at least the same amount elsewhere.

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The Treasury Department has been selling taxpayers' bank warrants back to bailed out banks at a secretly-negotiated discount rate. The newly introduced PROFIT Act of 2009 would require the Treasury to sell the warrant in an open auction so that the public gets a fair return on the money they put up to rescue the banks.

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Trending on OpenCongress

July 2, 2009 - by Isabelle Cutting

Unsurprisingly the recently voted upon Cap and Trade bill has been dominating the discourse and attention of OpenCongress users this past week. Behind all that action, however, users have kept on voting on bills, members and issue areas via our Battle Royal function. Here are some highlights of those trending bills, which we didn’t want to slip by, unnoticed.

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$410 Billion Appropriations Bill Released

February 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Another day, another thousand-plus-page, several-hundred-billion-dollar piece of legislation drops. The House Appropriations Committee today released the full text of the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2009, which covers the nine federal agencies that were not funded under the normal appropriations process last year because of a standoff between Bush and Congress. Politico: When added together with prior appropriations bills for defense, veterans, and homeland security, it br...

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"No" Votes for Jobs

February 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Before signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Tuesday, the Obama administration released an assortment of fact sheets on the its estimated impacts in several areas. One of those fact sheets outlines the bill's impact on employment by congressional district. CongressDaily ($) notes that, according to that document, seven of the ten districts projected to gain the most jobs under the bill are represented by Republicans in the House. The Representatives for tho...

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Public Law 111-005

February 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus bill) was officially signed into law this afternoon by President Obama. It is now Pub.L. 111-005 Shortly after the signing ceremony, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the Administration will not "foreclose" the idea of pushing a second stimulus package through Congress if this one doesn't do enough, though they have no plans to do so at the moment. ...

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Recovery.gov Goes Live

February 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The stimulus bill hasn't (update: has been) been signed into law yet, but one of its mandates - the establishment of a public website to track how the stimulus funds are being spent - has already been implemented.

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...And the Senate Follows Suit

February 13, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Hot on the heels of the House of Representatives, the Senate this evening gave final congressional approval to the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 60-38 - not a vote to spare. President Obama will sign the bill into law on Monday. Out of the 535 members of Congress, only three Republicans votes in favor of the bill.

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Stimulus Bill Text

February 12, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

It's 11pm ET on Wednesday, and the full legislative text of the final version of Congress's $789.5 billion economic stimulus package has just been released. It's scheduled for a possible vote by the House of Representatives sometime tomorrow. It's 999 pages in total - Better get reading...

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Still Waiting for a Bill

February 12, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

But in the meantime, here's a summary of the $311 billion in appropriations (.pdf) that will be included in the final version of the stimulus bill. ...$72. billion for rural broadband, $8.4 for mass transit, $9.3 billion for intercity rail investment, $19 billion for health IT, $53.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, etc. UPDATE: And here is the other half, a summary of the tax provisions in the final stimulus bill (.pdf), courtesy of the House Ways and Means. Still no bil...

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$789.5 Billion

February 11, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

That's the reported cost of the stimulus compromise worked out by the conference committee. None of the moderates crew - Nelson, Collins et al. - are official members of the conference committee, but apparently they are still wielding significant influence as the bill is still being reduced, below either of the versions passed by the House or Senate.

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Exemplary Republicans on the Stimulus

February 11, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Following up on my list of exemplary Democrats, here is a list of the seven Republican Senators who voted with the majority of their party (against the assumed administration position) on all 29 roll call votes regarding the stimulus:

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Exemplary Democrats on the Stimulus

February 11, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Say what you will about the economic stimulus package, but the fact of the matter is that it is the result of as fair and deliberative a process as ever happens in Congress. In the Senate alone, 27 amendments were voted on, at least 20 of them sponsored by members of the minority party. So far, the Senate has gone down on the record 29 times regarding the stimulus. Throughout all the votes, 10 Democrats voted with the majority of their party (or what we can assume to be the administration's position) every single time.

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Make the Stimulus Negotiations Public

February 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Republicans in the Senate and House are pushing for the stimulus package conference committee meetings to be broadcast on television. “Given the enormous amount of taxpayer money at stake, it is critical that any and all negotiations be held to the highest standards of transparency,” said Rep. Tom Price in a press release. The conference committee, which meets to reconcile legislation when the Senate and House pass different versions, is one of the most mysterious congressional activitie...

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