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With their work on the 2008 budget so far, Democrats have backed themselves into a corner. Now the responsibility of straightening things out is being passed on to the budget conference committee, which, news sources are reporting, is just about ready to be assembled. In mid March, when the Senate was voting on the fiscal year 2008 budget resolution which sets the spending cap for the overall budget and outlines other budgeting priorities, Democrats nearly unanimously joined Republicans in ap...

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Reid Moves Immigration Talks Back to the Left

May 3, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) is committed to bringing immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor during the week of May 14. The only problem is that no such bill has been introduced in the Senate and recent attempts to work one out have been unfruitful. But Reid has a plan: >Senate Democratic leaders, increasingly unhappy with an immigration overhaul taking shape in bipartisan talks with the White House, are considering moving their own, more permissive bill. > >The mo...

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House Moves Hate Crimes Bill Closer to a Veto

May 3, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The bill to expand the definition of hate crimes to include crimes committed against a person based on their sexual orientation or gender, H.R.1592, was just approved by the House. This bill has faced an uphill battle from the day it was introduced by John Conyers (D, MI) (pictured at right), and its victory today in the House only belies the simultaneous cementing of its defeat. The President this morning stated that he will veto the bill if it is approved by Congress: >The White House, i...

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Post-Veto Landscape Begins to Take Shape

May 2, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

With the Iraq bill officially vetoed, Congress and the President are back at the negotiating table, both trying to get the most they can out of the follow-up bill that the Democratic leadership is currently trying to write. Ahead of a meeting with congressional leaders this afternoon, President Bush said that he expects Democrats to act in "good will" by giving him exactly what he wants. >"I am confident that with good will on both sides that we can move beyond political statements and agree...

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Bush Vetoes Iraq War Spending Bill

May 1, 2007 - by David Moore

The WaPo reports: President Bush vetoed a $124 billion measure yesterday that would have funded overseas military operations but required him to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq as early as July. (Pictured at right: the well-recognized banner backdrop of President Bush's May 1, 2003 appearance on the USS Lincoln.) Slate is running an excellent "Explainer" titled "What happens when a war spending bill gets vetoed", written by Michelle Tsai with input from Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Com...

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Bluey Calls For Capitol Access For Bloggers

May 1, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The Open House Project, a temporary working group of bloggers, government watchdog groups, and media activists, has been working for months on a series of recommendations that they will present to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) in order to help her live up to her pledge of making the 110th Congress "the most honest, ethical and open Congress in history." The Hill is running a series of op-eds in anticipation of the Open House Project releasing its report. The first in the series was written by Ro...

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It's May Day: a huge day for the labor movement and immigrants' rights, and the first day of the month that comprehensive immigration reform legislation is expected to see floor time in Congress. Immigration is a major issue for the users of OpenCongress. Since the site launched, "immigration" has continually been, by far, the most commonly searched-for term. This tendency is of course indicative of the big picture. Americans everywhere have immigration issues on their minds. For the past ...

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