OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Previewing the Health Care Summit

February 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

We're now just six days away from the big bipartisan, live-on-the-TV health care summit that President Obama will hold next week with leaders from Congress. Here's a quick update on where things stand.

Read Full Article Comments (7)
 

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.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Congress Links

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Here are a few articles and blog posts worth checking out today: President Obama today signed an executive order creating his promised bipartisan deficit reduction commission. Heading up the commission are former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and respected former GOP senator Alan Simpson. (The White House) For all the sturm and drang about the effectiveness of the stimulus package, many don't realize that only a third of it has been spent so far. The Wall Street Journal has a fa...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Reconciled Health Care Bill to be Released on Monday

February 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The White House and congressional Dems will be releasing a newly negotiated health care bill on Monday that they hope will form the basis of legislation that can pass muster in Congress and get signed into law, the AP reports: The White House and congressional leaders are preparing a detailed health care proposal designed to win passage without Republican support if GOP lawmakers fail to embrace bipartisan compromises at President Barack Obama's summit next week. A senior White House offici...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

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. ...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Conservatives Attack Student Nondiscrimination Bill

February 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO-2] recently introduced the "Student Nondiscrimation Act of 2009", which seeks to ban public schools from discriminating against students based on their sexuality or gender identity. It is currently the second most-blogged about bill in Congress, mostly because of conservative opposition.

Read Full Article Comments (9)
 

More Liberals Push For Public Option Revival

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The public option, declared dead time and time again throughout the health care reform process, is once again showing faint signs of life. As I mentioned before, four Senate Democrats the week signed onto a letter urging their colleagues to pass the public option through the Senate under reconciliation – a process that requires 51 votes instead of the 60 now mandated by near-constant GOP filibustering. Since the letter was released, 16 Senate Democrats have signed on. The majority of these ...

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

Bayh, Lobbyists Fight To Preserve Government Subsidies

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The White House is again trying to end government subsides to the student loan industry but a multi-million dollar lobbying effort is pushing back.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Congress Links

February 17, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Here's today's rundown of a few articles and blog posts worth reading: Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN] cited a dysfunctional Congress as the reason why he was retiring at the end of his term. Part of the solution, Bayh said on MSNBC today, would be to reform a filibuster process that Republicans “routinely used to frustrate even low level presidential appointees.” Adding, “It's just brought the process to a halt and the public is suffering.” (Think Progress) Sen. Chris Dodd [D, CT], however, isn't a...

Read Full Article Submit a Comment
 

Dems Push Update Of Minority Lending Law

February 17, 2010 - by Eric Naing

A Texas Democrat wants to modernize a controversial Carter-era law designed to encourage mortgage lending to minorities and low-income individuals.

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

Fewer, But Costlier Earmarks in 2010

February 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Taxpayers for Common Sense has completed their analysis of congressional earmarking for fiscal year 2010 and found that, while Congress approved almost 2,000 fewer earmarks this year, the total cost of all earmarks actually increased by $300 million this year. Click through to see who won the most earmarks in the Senate and the House.

Read Full Article Comments (4)
 

TPM reports on an emerging strategy for corporations that want to use the recent Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling to funnel unlimited amounts of cash to congressional candidates without having to reveal their identity and expose themselves to public backlash. But there is already a bill in Congress to thwart the strategy.

Read Full Article Comments (1)
 

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

Read Full Article Comments (6)
 

A Year of Stimulus

February 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

As you've probably heard, today is the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- the Stimulus -- being signed into law. The bill injected $787 billion into the economy through tax cuts and new spending to spur job creation, boost the housing market and stabilize state budgets. But has it worked?

Read Full Article Comments (2)
 

$1.3 Million Per Hour

February 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The past year in Congress was one of the most productive sessions ever. But don't worry -- the lobbyists in Washington have managed to keep up with the pace, spending more money on influencing federal policy than ever before.

Read Full Article Submit a Comment