OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Today we're excited to be launching a head-to-head vote comparison tool that gives you an at-a-glance way to see where every senator and representative stands on the hottest issues facing Congress. Choose two people from the drop-down menus for a side-by-side view of their votes, plus information on how often they vote together, how often they vote with their party, and more.

Read Full Article Comments (4)
 

Filibusters Gone Wild

October 29, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

If you follow Congress at all, you've probably heard that in the last two years, Democrats, even though they hold the majority, haven't been able to get much passed the Republican Minority in the Senate. To an unprecedented extent, Republicans in the Senate have used a procedural move known as cloture that requires bills to get 60 votes, rather than the standard 50, to pass. It's basically a pre-emptive filibuster. Now that the session is just about over, I put together this graph to illustrate how anomalous the Republicans' use of the cloture motion has been:

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Know Your District

October 28, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Need to touch up on your state races before the elections next Tuesday? Follow the Money has just released an easy-to-use tool that lets you see every state candidate for office and information on where their campaign money is coming from. It will also gives you information on any ballot measures that will be on the ballot. To use the tool, just go to the Follow the Money homepage, type your address in the "Find My District" box on the left of the screen and click "GO!"...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Congress Funded by D.C. Interests

October 28, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

If campaign contributions buy favors from lawmakers, almost every member of Congress owes a lot more to special interests in Washington, D.C. than they do to their constituents. A report just released by MapLight.org shows that 79 percent of campaign contributions to members of the House of Representatives came from out-of-district.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Sen. Stevens Convicted on All Counts

October 27, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Bloomberg: "U.S. Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of all seven felony charges of failing to report gifts from a company in his home state of Alaska, a possibly fatal blow to the career of the Senate's longest-serving Republican."

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Help Open the Senate

October 27, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Last year, the Sunlight Foundation began the Open House Project, a diverse coalition of people working together to help the House of Representatives be more open and accessible through using the internet. They've made incredible progress - developing a solid list of recommendations and helping the House to reform their rules so that Members can use Web services like YouTube and Twitter. Now they're tackling the challenges of Congress's other chamber with the just-launched Open Senate Projec...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

A Green Economic Stimulus

October 24, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

There is only one thing left for Congress to do this session: come back after the November elections and try to pass an economic stimulus package for Main Street America. One of the major Democratic priorities that has emerged for the stimulus is investing - through tax cuts and new spending - in transportation and infrastructure projects that will create new, high-quality jobs. A subset of that idea has emerged as well: using the stimulus to fund green infrastructure projects that will reduce carbon emissions, encourage alternative energy production, and reduce dependence on foreign oil, all the while providing millions of new jobs.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

There's Still Time to Pass S.223

October 21, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act would increase disclosure by requiring the Senate to file their campaign contribution forms online, but it's being blocked in the Senate by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). Today at a press conference in D.C., Ensign got grilled on his objections to the bill and laid out what it would take for him to let it pass.

Read Full Article Comments (6)
 

On Space

October 20, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

In my post below comparing 50 key votes from Obama and McCain, I overlooked their records on space policy. Luckily, PopSci is on the case. (h/t/ Instapundit) ...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Track Your Tax Dollars in the Bailout

October 20, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Mark Cuban has just launched BailoutSleuth, a blog to "keep an eye on our taxpayer dollars and call Bullshit when necessary." Sounds good. From their post over the weekend, it definitely looks like it will be a good thing to have someone watching closely how the bank bailouts are being executed. ...

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

Bernanke Calls for More Stimulus

October 20, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke helped build momentum for Congress to come back after the November elections and pass a second economic stimulus package. Breaking from the Bush administration's ambivalence up to now on the issue, at a hearing today on Capitol Hill, Bernanke came out with a strong, but vague, endorsement of another stimulus.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

McCain and Obama: 50 Key Senate Votes

October 15, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

In the three presidential debates between John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL), we've heard a lot about their voting records in the Senate. Votes on funding the troops in Iraq, stem cell research, equal pay for women, childrens' health care, and energy policy have been raised by the candidates several times. Here's a side-by-side look at those votes, plus 45 others, that McCain and Obama have put down on the record during the two sessions of Congress that they were both in the Senate.

Read Full Article Comments (19)
 

Bush's 'Inappropriate' Use of Power

October 15, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Adjourned, but still releasing reports: >President George W. Bush overstepped his authority by withholding an FBI interview of Vice President Dick Cheney from a congressional panel probing the leak of a CIA agent's identity, a draft bipartisan House report said. > >The interview may shed light on who disclosed former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity, the draft report said. The report was circulated by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democ...

Read Full Article Comments (3)
 

Obama and McCain - Legislative Accomplishments

October 14, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

For the first time ever, two sitting senators are running head to head as the major party candidates for President. This gives us a unique opportunity to look at the legislative records of the candidates - John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) - to find solid clues about their governing styles and policy priorities beyond what gets said on the campaign trail. Here's a bird-eye-view look at how the Obama and McCain's legislative records stack up.

Read Full Article Comments (12)
 

Let the Bailout Begin

October 14, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Sent this morning: >October 14, 2008 > >Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) > >Pursuant to section 115(a)(2) of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343)(the "Act"), I hereby certify that it is necessary for the Secretary of the Treasury to exercise the authority granted under the Act to purchase, or commit to purchase, troubled assets up to the limit of $350 billion outstanding at any one time. > >Sincerely, > >GEORGE W. BUSH ...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment