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The House of Representatives is in session right now, debating H.R.3, a bill "to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research." This is the third of six issues that the Democrats pledged to pass in their first 100 legislative hours, and on the official clock of the 100 Hour Plan, they have more than 86 hours left. As I have already blogged about, the bill is most likely going to be vetoed by the President. In fact, the White House issued a statement t...

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"Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis." "We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. Many governments would benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly - in terms of human life and human rights. Wikile...

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The House of Representatives passed the first part of their 100 hour plan on Tuesday in about 6 hours and 30 minutes. The vote was a bipartisan 299-128 to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. This leaves a little more than 93 hours to complete and pass the remaining 5 bills that the Democrats promised to pass in their first 100 legislative hours. They plan on churning these bills out, one a day. The rest of the schedule looks like this: Wednesday, January 10 - Increas...

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House to Vote on New Security Measures Today

January 9, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The House of Representatives today will be voting on H.R. 1, a bill to implement the 9/11 Commission Recommendations. The most controversial measure included in the bill is a plan to inspect all cargo that comes into the United States on commercial ships and flights. Currently only about 15% of cargo is inspected. Opponents of the measure worry that the inspections will be too costly and slow down the ports too much. Some airlines are worried that the new law could reverse an arrangement t...

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Congress is Working Towards Their First Vetoed Bill

January 9, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The Democratic majority is planning on introducing and passing bills that they know will never be signed into law. Putting a bill through the entire legislative process takes an enormous amount of time and effort that could otherwise be spent working on bills that have a chance of becoming laws. A good example of this is a bill to promote embryonic stem cell research that is going to be introduced in the Senate this week. The funny thing about introducing this bill is that they passed this...

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Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) will be introducing a bill to the Senate today that would require the President to get the consent of Congress before he can increase the number of troops in Iraq. The bill seeks to deny the use of Federal funds for sending more troops to Iraq. The bill may not have the support it would need to pass through the Senate, but it will at least serve to put every Senator on record as being essentially for or against the surge in Iraq. The record of the vote on thi...

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Congress will be considering a new Energy package on January 18. The big thing that's going to be up for vote in the bill is some incentives that American oil companies get for drilling in publicly-owned property. These incentives were brought to the public's attention through a New York Times article from late December. The Times got their hands on a report from the Interior Department that suggests that the incentives are not paying off. Here is some text from the unlinkable article: ...

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Bush's Column About Working With the New Congress

January 3, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

President Bush released a column in the Wall Street Journal today called "What the Congress Can Do for America." The new Congress that convenes tomorrow will be the first one with a Democratic majority that he has dealt with during his presidency. The president has the final say in the law-making process because he has to approve all the bills that the Congress passes before they actually become laws. The big unknown right now is how willing Bush is going to be to sign Democrats' bil...

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So I have been traveling around the country for the past couple of weeks doing all sorts of festive things, but I am back and getting ready for Congress to convene on Thursday. The new Democratic Congress is likely to pass pay-as-you-go budgeting rules in their first few days. Pay-as-you-go, or Paygo, makes it so that any spending that Congress approves must be payed for by an equal gain in money somewhere else. The plan, if working perfectly, balances the budget deficit, because there...

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